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Horse has colic...don't walk?

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  • Horse recent colic laying down when he needs to poop then standing up.
  • Walk or not walk when horse has colic

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    04-13-2013, 05:50 PM
I have worked with more colic horses then I ever wanted to. I have won some and I have lost some. I have always went with, let the horse rest. If it whats to stand fine, if it wants to lay down and rest fine. I try to keep a standing horse standing, and a horse that is down I try to keep it down without fighting with it. The up and down thing I really don't like and when they start going down and getting up and going down I have found that when they get to the point of going down and getting up and going down...rolling is not far away. At that point I start walking them. So in short a colicing horse keep them still as much as you can but if its a matter of rolling or walking. I go with walking.
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    04-13-2013, 05:52 PM
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I'm not sure I understand why walking the horse was the worst thing they could have done unless he in a lot worse shape then it sounded like?

If they are lying quietly, then I generally will let them lay. If they are rolling then up they go. That's where the walking comes in, to keep them on their feet....
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    04-13-2013, 05:53 PM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I was always told that if the horse is going down and rolling/thrashing around, then get them up and walk them.
But, if they are laying down quietly, let them be.

Now I am interested in hearing the responses.
Same as my vet tells me.
    04-14-2013, 12:38 AM
From what she was telling me, and the pics she sent, he was sitting like a dog then would lie down for a bit then he would get up and pace before doing it again. As far as the owners/vet getting upset about her handling the horse, this wasn't the case. I'm not going to go all into their boarding situation, just that wasn't an issue. She's also familiar with this vet and he knows her well, he just isn't her personal vet.

It appears it's case by case based on the horse and vets opinion then. Myself personally, I've never seen a horse colic that just calmly lay down. They were normally agitated to some degree and it was always the vet's recommendation to walk. Like others have mentioned, not to the point of exhaustion, but just for a bit to get their mind focused somewhere else. I know at the equine vet's office I worked for he had us walk them around the building one time and to always stop in this grassy area. That way if they wanted to drop it was soft ground, but if they tried we were instructed to walk them again but always one time around. If they got sweaty and breathing hard he would tube them and treatment always varied from there.
    04-14-2013, 07:56 PM
My big guy is a chronic colicker, a time or two a year (despite feed changes, ulcer meds and much consultation with vets), so I've had many a discussion about this topic and about colic. My vet said the same as was previously mentioned - the only reason to walk a colicky horse is if he want's to thrash and roll around on the ground; if they'll lay quietly leave them be. He tells me it's a "wives tale" of sorts that a colicky horse must be walked. I actually like to get my horse moving when he colics, whether he wants to roll or not. At 18 hands, he's a big boy, and it appears to help get things moving inside a bit.

But being told walking it is the worst thing you could do? That's something I've never heard before. I wonder why the vet would say that...personally, I can't come up with a single reason why it would be at all detrimental.
    04-21-2013, 07:10 AM
Ive always been told walk them, if they are laying right flat down it can mean there bowls have twisted, even the vets say walk them then stop give them break then walk then break, until poop, altho we usually load them on the float take a drive around the block, and they have usually pooped
    04-21-2013, 07:50 AM
Personally, to me, pooping mean nothing. I've seen multiple colicing horses poop, and then have to be put down later anyways. I've been told, by one of the vets, that the twist could be anywhere, and that poop could've been on it's way out anyways.

Recent, as in the last few colics I've dealt with, we were told to let them stand/rest when they wanted to, but as soon as they showed signs of wanting to lay down (after consistently laying down and rolling) to walk them, and rest again. I want to say they said ten minutes of rest for every half hour of walking if I remember correctly.

Last horse we had colic, when the vet went in to feel around, we found out his spleen was enlarged, vet left him with a 50/50 and he made it till morning and had to be put down. Best lesson horse I've ever known.
    04-21-2013, 08:03 AM
I forgot to say that, choco pooped and stilll colicing,took 2hrs for him to comne he has laryngitus:(
    04-21-2013, 08:23 AM
I'm wondering if human interference improves the situation other than to get the horse out of the stall in case it succumbs to a twisted gut. It also eliminates the possiblilty of the horse becoming cast. Horses have dealt with both types of colic for millenia, most make it, some don't. Research on colic revealed that when the horse rolls, it is rearranging it's gut. It is most difficult to stand by and do nothing but perhaps the best course of action is inaction.
    04-21-2013, 05:38 PM
I agree with Tiny; I was always told that if the horse is rolling, kicking, or acting restless then to walk them. But if they're quiet then just let them be.

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