Colic is a term used for when a horse is having mild-severe abdominal pain. This type of situation can have many causes such as ingestion, diet types, quick change in diet, parasites, lack of water, stress, and twisted stomach. It is important to be able to spot this problem with a horse as soon as possible as it can be very severe and could possibly lead to death. Some of the signs of colic in a horse can be seen as restless and pawing at the ground, sweating and increased breathing rate, stretching as if they are going to urinate, rolling or attempting to roll, or even an increase in pulse rate. If any of these signs are evident, it is important to notify a vet as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.
There are many risk factors that could potentially lead to the development of colic in a horse. Such risk factors include digestive disorders, poor feeding regime, and stress. It is important to make sure the horse is properly being taken care of or else it could possibly develop this severe condition.
There are many things you can do to prevent your horse from developing colic. You should make sure that there horse is always supplied with water and could have a diet planned out for the horse that it follows everyday. If you plan to change the horses food, you should slowly switch it instead of all at once. Always double check the feed to ensure that it is still in good quality and does not have mold or other hazards in it. It is important that your horse is getting a balanced amount of exercise and rest daily. Along with these prevents, there are many more that you can follow to help prevent your horse from getting this severe condition.
Lastly, if your horse does so happen to develop colic there are many different treatments that you should follow to get the situation handled quickly. The best thing to do first is to make sure the horse is in a safe place, and if not then it would be best to move them to one. But do not interfere with the horse if it is anxious or trying to roll around. You should remove feed and hay from the horse as this could be the initiator. It would be in your best interest to notify a doctor if it is severe, surgery may be needed to treat the issue.
The summary is provided from a ANS 216 Equine Science assignment.