cribbing and colic - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-18-2013, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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cribbing and colic

We have a cribber and have tried everything we can think of: miracle collar, hot wire, toys, ointment on the fence… It doesn't matter what we do. She cribs on her trailer, her feeder, and her 1 1/2 acre pasture. Her teeth are starting to show the wear of constant cribbing. We have checked her for worms. We are currently in a worming program. She has also coliced 4 times in the past 5 months. Any ideas would be helpful. My daughter rides her 4-5 times a week and we play with her daily. Thank you in advance for any advice.
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-19-2013, 02:02 AM
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This may or may not be irrelenvant, but could you tell us what her current diet is? Does she have access to free choice forage such as hay and/or pasture?
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post #3 of 16 Old 11-19-2013, 10:19 AM
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Cribbing is a drug. It released endorphins and the cribbing can often start as a way of dealing with pain. More than likely, she has ulcers. If you can see damage to her teeth, she's been doing this for a while.

Diet and management can play a huge role in cribbing. Does she have companionship? What's her diet? How's her weight? Is she a nervous horse? You probably will never totally eliminate the cribbing but there are things to reduce the occurrence.
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post #4 of 16 Old 11-19-2013, 10:24 AM
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there is a collar that is basically a leather cylander held on by a single strap that works wonders. There are 3 cribbers at the barn where I board, and one is very severe, a 7 year old mare that spent 5 years on the track. The type of collar mentioned above works wonders for her.
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post #5 of 16 Old 11-19-2013, 10:35 AM
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I'd have her checked for ulcers, like the others have said. We also add aloe juice to our horses grain to help sooth the stomach.

As for the hot wire you should run it so it sticks out a foot from the fence, double strand it if need be (one wire on top and one by the middle rail. Make sure the gate is also blocked off with the wire.

Pull all the buckets out of her area. Give her a feed pan and make sure the water bucket is below her knees.

You can try to afix PVC piping to the edges of the walls of her shelter. Or you can completely block it off if she doesn't need it. For light or no rain or snow there is no reason she needs it.

You can also get her a grazing muzzle so she cannot latch her teeth onto anything.

McNasty has also worked for us on the "problem" areas. You just have to be careful with it because you DON'T want to breath it in or get it in your eyes. I know from personal experience, it HURTS!!!!

Also, are the collars adjusted appropriately?? They should be tight when the horse is hold their head up and loosen when their poll becomes level with the wither. I know a lot of people dislike putting it on that tight but its useless against those strong muscles without it.
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post #6 of 16 Old 11-19-2013, 09:21 PM
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You've tried hotwire & it hasn't stopped her??

Agree with others, that diet & ulcers are likely candidates for why she's colicking. While cribbing is linked with colic, etc, I don't know that there are any studies to show it causes it, but the cribbing starts as a symptom of gut probs that also cause colic.

And yes, if you can't control her environment(remove/hotwire rails, etc) then some kind of cribbing collar(different ones better for some horses) or grazing muzzle or such should help you manage the problem. As it's an obsessive compulsive thing & said to release endorphines, it's almost impossible to break the habit in an established cribber even once the cause(gut probs/diet/stress) is removed.
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post #7 of 16 Old 11-25-2013, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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cribbing and colic

Thank you for all the feedback. She lives in a 1 acre pasture with another horse. She's never stalled and she has toys to play with. We feed a 70/30 mix of alfalfa and grass. We've added a probiotic to her grain at night. Her weight is fine. I am going to try a different cribbing collar. My daughter takes her out of the pasture almost on a daily basis. I will ask the vet about ulcers. He is worming her for worms so we'll see if all this helps. Thanks again for all the advice.
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post #8 of 16 Old 11-25-2013, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by zenaprincesswarrior View Post
70/30 mix of alfalfa and grass. We've added a probiotic to her grain at night.
If it's 30% alfalfa, probably OK. If 70% probably too high. Alfalfa is particularly high in Ca among other nutrients, which may be problematic, esp in regard to Mg balance, which can effect the gut, among other stuff. Worth looking into the research done on magnesium, but IMO most horses could benefit from extra of this min. Also there are alternatives to grain that are healthier, but if you're going to feed grain or high starch feed, it's best to feed it little & often & I'd be definitely considering a low starch, low dose alternative if I could only feed it once or twice daily.
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post #9 of 16 Old 11-25-2013, 11:25 PM
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Alfalfa and the additional Ca will help a horse with ulcers. It can buffer stomach acids up to 8 hours after a meal. Don't take it out.
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post #10 of 16 Old 11-25-2013, 11:29 PM
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My thought would be ulcers too, however it could also now be from a habit she developed...which may not ever go away. Other signs of ulcers and tummy trouble are irritability, coat that lacks shine and/or doesn't shed when it's supposed to, sweating profusely with only light work, frequent colic. Those are the ones people often miss or don't relate to tummy issue
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colic , cribbing , wind sucker

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