Colic - walk, roll or not? gut noise or not?
   

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Colic - walk, roll or not? gut noise or not?

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  • Colic horse laying down but not rollingl
  • Should i let my horse lie down if it had collic

 
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    05-28-2008, 08:54 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Colic - walk, roll or not? gut noise or not?

OK a couple of questions about colic for everyone.

I read that "colic" as opposed to "abdominal discomfort" results in excessive gut noises, not a reduction or nil gut noises. In my mind, it could be either, but nil gut noises is far more serious and could indicate a far more serious problem. I also read, if no gut noises, oiling is not helpful.

When we think a horse is colicky -- then do we walk? Not walk? Let him lie down? Let him roll? My own opinion is, walking is good and rolling is good too as long as it isn't violent.

I've only had experience twice with colic -- once with a horse and once with a goat. Both came out fine, but lemme tell you the goat was a whole lot easier, though more serious! Yesterday, my horse had no gut noises, but it wasn't digestion related; it was far more serious and he had to be put down, which supports my belief that no gut noise is not exclusively indicative of digestive trouble. I only mention that so y'all know where my mind is at please just take it as additional info, not an additional topic.
     
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    05-28-2008, 09:35 PM
  #2
Yearling
http://osuextra.okstate.edu/pdfs/F-3921web.pdf

http://www.extension.umn.edu/horse/c...eets/colic.htm

Colic is "abdominal pain"-- colic is just a desription indicating abdominal pain and can have mainy causes. You can have either increased or decreased or no gut sounds with colic depending on the cause. Walking is ok, so long as it is not done to excess--exhausting a colicy horse and adding to the dehydration problem only makes things worse. Lying down is ok so long as the horse is not rolling or thrashing.

I'm sorry to hear about your horse.
     
    05-28-2008, 09:40 PM
  #3
Trained
When Dumas coliced last week the vet asked me over the phone if I could put my ear to his stomach and hear gut noises...at the time my mind was racing so badly that I couldn't hear myself think let alone any noises...it was my first colic...I told the vet no and he said that isn't good...Sooooo... to go in hand with what you wrote Northernmama. I believe that it is bad to NOT hear anything. And the vet said get him up and walk him. We did it slow and easy. At times Dumas would get weak knees and we would let him lay down and my hubby (thank God he's strong) Kept Dumas from rolling. Although he did a couple times the vet said no big deal as long as it wasn't violent. Horses can twist their gut if they have a blockage and roll that is the reasoning behind the don't let them roll theory.
We only let Dumas llie down for a few minutes...maybe 5...then got him up again. It took me walking behind them and swattin a whip on the gorund lightly to keep him walking at a snails pace. Its not good to walk them too much to the point of exaustion. It was scary and frustrating and emotionally exausting. I don't feel that I came out of the experience with as much new knowledge as I would have liked but this is what I do know now.

Sorry for your loss Northernmama (((hugs)))
     
    05-28-2008, 10:43 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryle
http://osuextra.okstate.edu/pdfs/F-3921web.pdf

http://www.extension.umn.edu/horse/c...eets/colic.htm

Colic is "abdominal pain"-- colic is just a desription indicating abdominal pain and can have mainy causes. You can have either increased or decreased or no gut sounds with colic depending on the cause. Walking is ok, so long as it is not done to excess--exhausting a colicy horse and adding to the dehydration problem only makes things worse. Lying down is ok so long as the horse is not rolling or thrashing.

I'm sorry to hear about your horse.
The 1st article is states colic refers to abdominal pain most often originating from the digestive tract. The 2nd article contradicts itself: first it states “colic” officially refers to any type of abdominal pain Then it states other problems such as bladder stones and tying up may occasionally mimic gut pain and look like colic implying that if it's not "gut" pain, it's not colic. So, it's not surprising then that I've had this information from other sources as well. However, the article also says it refers to major types of colic -- but every reference to colic in it, is digestive/intestinal based. What my guy had was trauma to his spleen, which, by the 2nd definition would not be colic and walking was not helpful whatsoever; actually would have increased his shock and killed him sooner. So I'm glad I went by my own gut instinct and stopped walking him, gave water, (both contra-first aid for gastro-colic, right?), triple blanketed (water and blanket to treat for shock) and awaited my vet.

So, how as a lay person, do we determine the best first aid? Tough, isn't it? I was lucky that I chose the right thing I think. It'd didn't save him, nothing would have, but I did no harm.

Seems to me, we use the term equine colic just as freely as we use baby colic. If they're upset and we don't know why, it must be colic. Never liked that when I had my babies and not happy with it for my horses.

As for the rolling -- this is what really throws me more than anything -- isn't the horse trying to massage the gut by rolling? I know if *I* have a sore stomach, sometimes that's what I do, but human anatomy being what it is, that may not be comparable. Horses roll all the time, so why is it considered detrimental during gastro-colic, but not any other time? If it'll twist, it'll twist, no? Or is this purely preventative for "colic" situs resulting in blockage where the intestine is perhaps stiff at one location, but overly flaccid at another due to nothing being in the intestine after the blockage?

Dumas' Grrrl -- I noticed your story, but didn't post, sorry. I tend not to get involved in those - just a thing I have. Poor social skills for sure. But I am glad for you that all worked out well and you learned from the experience. Did you go camping? Actually, never mind that question here -- you can tell the camping tale (or not) on another thread take up. I'll watch for it. I knew my guy was in really bad shape when I found his heart was waaaay too fast, and his gums were pale, pale, pale.

(edited to correct spelling)
     
    05-29-2008, 09:51 AM
  #5
Trained
That's what I think is SO confusing about horsey health... As a lay person all we can do is what our gut tells us to do and to try to educate ourselves.... I was so paranoid that I was going to hurt him by walking him. And yet at the same time was worried that we were not walking enough. This is no different (other than the possible outcome) than when Ryle warned us all that peroxide wasn't a good wound cleaner! I had been using it for years on my kids and was prepared to use it on my horses too... turns out that we shouldn't because it can do more harm than good.. Who knew???

I just think we have to find peace in the fact that we are doing the best we know how at the time and pray for the best outcome. Sometimes we mess up. We are just human.
     
    05-29-2008, 10:00 AM
  #6
Yearling
The 1st article is states colic refers to abdominal pain most often originating from the digestive tract. The 2nd article contradicts itself: first it states “colic” officially refers to any type of abdominal pain Then it states other problems such as bladder stones and tying up may occasionally mimic gut pain and look like colic implying that if it's not "gut" pain, it's not colic. So, it's not surprising then that I've had this information from other sources as well. However, the article also says it refers to major types of colic -- but every reference to colic in it, is digestive/intestinal based. What my guy had was trauma to his spleen, which, by the 2nd definition would not be colic and walking was not helpful whatsoever; actually would have increased his shock and killed him sooner. So I'm glad I went by my own gut instinct and stopped walking him, gave water, (both contra-first aid for gastro-colic, right?), triple blanketed (water and blanket to treat for shock) and awaited my vet.


So, how as a lay person, do we determine the best first aid? Tough, isn't it? I was lucky that I chose the right thing I think. It'd didn't save him, nothing would have, but I did no harm.

Seems to me, we use the term equine colic just as freely as we use baby colic. If they're upset and we don't know why, it must be colic. Never liked that when I had my babies and not happy with it for my horses.

As for the rolling -- this is what really throws me more than anything -- isn't the horse trying to massage the gut by rolling? I know if *I* have a sore stomach, sometimes that's what I do, but human anatomy being what it is, that may not be comparable. Horses roll all the time, so why is it considered detrimental during gastro-colic, but not any other time? If it'll twist, it'll twist, no? Or is this purely preventative for "colic" situs resulting in blockage where the intestine is perhaps stiff at one location, but overly flaccid at another due to nothing being in the intestine after the blockage?

(edited to correct spelling)[/quote]

The articles aren't contradicting, it's more in how you read--the inflection you place on the words. Colic is any kind of pain origiinating in the abdomen. As you stated, it's a term with a very broad range of meanings because we it has been used so long--it's really just a descriptor of symptoms and not a diagnosis of the actual problem. Horses can present with the same symptoms for pain caused by impaction, torsion, strangulation, intra-abdominal bleeding, abdominal pain stemming from laminitis or pain anywhere else in the body, etc etc.
" other problems such as bladder stones and tying up may occasionally mimic gut pain and look like colic" rather than implying that these other problems are not colic, it means that these other problems can present with abdominal pain --thus signs that could lead you to suspect an impaction, etc when they are not related to the GI tract itself.

No, walking and giving water are not "contra-first aid" for a gastro colic. When a horse presents signs of colic, you should not allow intake of ANY food but water should be made available because dehydration will make any colic worse. And walking isn't necessary for any colic--it doesn't fix anything--what it does is keep the horse from getting down and thrashing around and hurting itself. It may also aid in getting the gut moving again, but it's not a necessary part of colic first aid.

The whole rolling issue is sorta a grey area. With certain types of colic it may be more likely for the gut to twist (say with a gas colic), but rolling won't necessarily cause it. And a horse rolls just because he is in pain and has no idea how to fix it, so he tries this position and that position, etc.

How to choose first aid is a complicated question. The very first thing to do is to check your horse's vitals and call your vet. Even a horse that doesn't appear to be terribly painful may be--that whole prey animal mentality of "showing weakness makes you a bigger target". But heart rate, respiratory rate, gume color and capillary refill time will still be indicative of how serious the issue is, so your vet can use these to assess whether you might want to just watch him for a while or get your rear to the vet's right away. And having a profressional opinion right off the bat is important because in a serious case of GI colic even 20 minutes can mean the difference between life and death. Most people instead give a dose of banamine and think that they are doing something to "fix" the problem....they aren't. Giving banamine for a colic of unknown cause is like giving advil after you fall and hurt your leg--it may make the pain better for a while, but you don't know if there is a fracture that needs more medical attention. You just cover the signs without doing anythying for the cause of the problem.[/b]
     
    05-29-2008, 04:42 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Wow. Thanks so much for that Ryle! I am printing this thread out and keeping it in my first aid information file! Really appreciate your time!
     
    05-29-2008, 07:23 PM
  #8
Showing
Walk, don't let him stop-walk walk walk. Don't let them roll or lie down either, EVER. Once they lie down and decide their over with then there is nothing you'll be able to do, so never let a colicking horse roll or lie down. You shouldn't get any or very little gut noises
     
    05-29-2008, 09:32 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by My2Geldings
Walk, don't let him stop-walk walk walk. Don't let them roll or lie down either, EVER. Once they lie down and decide their over with then there is nothing you'll be able to do, so never let a colicking horse roll or lie down. You shouldn't get any or very little gut noises
M2G -- I think you should read all the above. You may learn some things, just as I did.
     
    05-30-2008, 02:05 PM
  #10
Yearling
Northernmama, I am very sorry to hear of your loss.

Ryle, great information. I've been through a few colic's and the more prepared you are the better.
     

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