How to treat Colic ? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-10-2011, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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How to treat Colic ?

Hi all! Our young Percheron gelding had a severe case of colic, and after an almost 24 hour fight, we decided to let him go. The vet believe he had an impaction in his intestines and just couldn't pass it. We had the vet out most of the morning and about 15 minutes after he left he went down and we could not get him back up, his breathing was so shallow .. and we knew he was just in to much pain to continue on. Anyway, because of all of this i am wondering how you all go about treating colic, besides the obvious, calling the vet. What do you find works well to make them comfortable, after the vet has been called and come out ?
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-10-2011, 02:39 PM
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I give a dose of Banamine and within 15mins you can pretty much tell whether the vet will be needed. I will go ahead and call the vet before that and give him a heads up just in case.

I have had several cases of mild colic from weather changes over the years and Banamine has taken care of that. The horse will usually perk up and start trying to eat and I just keep a VERY close eye on them until the 24 hour mark.

My last colic, the Banamine didn't work and the vet was called out immediately after that. I lost my horse because of the intestines were already twisted. Heck I caught it VERY early, gave the dose, called the vet and we still lost her.

Sorry for your loss
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-10-2011, 03:13 PM
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Unless you know for certain it is an impaction colic, I wouldn't be giving Banamine. It might relieve the pain, but it also masks the seriousness of the situation. If you do opt to give Banamine, remove all food sources as they might perk up enough to try to eat. Mineral oil is a good way to get the intestines moving again. Keeping the horse well hydrated is the best preventative approach.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-10-2011, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Amblin Cowgirl View Post
What do you find works well to make them comfortable, after the vet has been called and come out ?
Initially I take the heart and respiration rate and listen for gut sounds. We will typically use the 30 minute rule. No improvement or worse in 30 minutes, then we call the vet.

Most often it's a gas colic and can be assisted with walking or belly lifts to encourage the gas pocket to move on.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-10-2011, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mls View Post
Initially I take the heart and respiration rate and listen for gut sounds. We will typically use the 30 minute rule. No improvement or worse in 30 minutes, then we call the vet.

This is what we go by to, and we did catch it early, it was just to bad to pass i guess. The vet had started him on a second bag of mineral oil when we decidede he had had enough.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-10-2011, 06:25 PM
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Personaly I call the vet and keep the horse walking untill he arrives.

I've had horses with every different degree and type of colic that there is, everything from a gripey belly to full blown twisted gut.
Harvey regularly used to get a gripey tummy but he paniced and it looked like he was dieing everytime. Vet normaly came up and gave him a sedative and the colic went away.

Harvey also has an umbilical hernia and occasionaly some gut would drop into it causeing him pain and blocking his gut. Vet normaly sedated him and gave the hernia a **** good manipulation to put the gut back where it should have been. If he had been younger we would have had it operated on but when we bought him he was 13 and it didnt affect him, we only started getting problems at aout 25 years old by then it is far to late to put a horse through a general anasthetic!

I've had impaction colics, thankfully most of them relieved by the horse being tubed and oil poured directly into the stomach.

I've seen viral colic, a burst bladder and 2 cases of twisted gut.
for the burst bladder and one case of twisted gut the horses were put to sleep here.

For the other twisted gut and the viral colic we did dashes down to leahurst vet hospital which is an hours drive away and the horse underwent colic operations in both cases and for the viral colic it also underwent some pretty heft IV meds for 3 day. Thankfully oth pulled through.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

Last edited by faye; 01-10-2011 at 06:33 PM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-10-2011, 06:30 PM
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I've lost one pony to colic and I'm sorry for your loss. It's a tough situation. If you catch it really early, sometimes a trailer ride will loosen things up. However, you have to make the right call - if the horse gets worse and goes down in the trailer you have all kinds of big trouble.

Other than that, I don't have much to offer that hasn't already been well-said in the above posts.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-12-2011, 01:49 PM
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We've had two weather change bouts of mild colic. Both times a shot of banamine cleared it up. But, I've done a lot of research on this and found a few things that I think have helped my OTTB a lot since then. I have cut his meals from twice a day to the same amount spread out over 3 or 4 feedings. That way he isnt filling up too much at once. I also have gotten him to significantly increase his water intake by keeping a large salt block in his stall all the time. He loves it. Its himalayan rock salt on a rope, I just tie it in his stall. He drinks a lot more now, which the vet said helps prevent colic. And finally, since OTTBs are prone to gastric ulcers, which can cause colic, I add UGUARD pellets to his grain twice a day. Just a small amount. When we go to a show I double it due to increased stress. I really think that since adding this antacid to his daily feed he's improved significantly overall.
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