COLIC - Signs, Causes & Treatment

Your Horses Health


COLIC - ABDOMINAL PAIN

Signs

  • Not eating, looking at sides, kicking at belly, laying down more than usual, rolling, stretching, sweating, sometimes violent rolling, getting up and down, unable to keep on feet.

Causes

  • Impaction - blockage of intestine by food material that dries excessively.
    • a. dry hay with many stems
    • b. lack of adequate water intake
    • c. change of feed
  • Gas Colic
    • a. excess grain
    • b. leafy alfalfa
  • Large Intestine displacement
    • a. bowel only attached to right flank
    • b. foaling
    • c. feed change
    • d. bowel motility changes
  • Blockage of Arteries to Bowel by Bloodworms
    • a. irregular deworming program
  • Small Intestine Displacement
    • a. changes in bowel motility
    • b. holes in mesentary

    Spasmodic Colica.

    • spontaneous
    • barometer changes
    • excess grain


    Prevention

  • Select quality hay
  • Don't over-feed grain
  • Regular deworming
  • Avoid sudden dietary changes
  • Decrase roughage to broodmares 2-3 weeks prior to foaling

Treatment

Immediate veterinarian attention

Attempt definitive diagnosis

Treatment depends on diagnosis: a) impaction - oil, water, IV fluids, reduce pain; b) gas - releive pain, trocarize to relieve gas; c) large and small bowel displacement - surgery - history and drugs given are important; d) bloodworm colic - varies; e) spasmodic - relieve pain, anti-spasmodic drugs. Early proper treatment may prevent displacements.

Common Questions

  • Walking
  • Drugs
  • Bran
  • Treatment by owner or trainer

Colic other than GI tract

  • Urinary tract
  • Ovarian
  • Peritonitis
  • Tumors
  • Abcesses

 


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