Colic in Horses
Colic is the most common reason we are called out to see horses. Colic is essentially a stomach ache that can be caused by overeating or changes in feed (and lots of other reasons!).
A serious case of colic is every horse owner’s worst nightmare. Horses with colic can present in many different ways including pawing, flank biting, rolling and lying down.
Our initial assessment involves a thorough physical examination with a particular focus on the horse’s cardiovascular system (heart rate; gum colour) and abdomen (gut sounds; abdominal distension). High heart rate, abnormal gum colour, lack of gut sounds and vigorous rolling are all signs of a serious colic.
Treatment of mild cases of colic involves walking, pain relief, stomach tubing and fluids. Cases of colic that do not respond to pain relief or where the horse regurgitates fluid after tubing may indicate that there is a twist in the horse’s intestines. Serious cases may need referral to a specialist equine centre for more intensive therapy (possibly including surgery).
Calling the veterinarian early gives your horse the best chance of surviving a bout of colic