Sand Colic - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 11-06-2009, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Sand Colic

Hey,

This is something I wrote about Sand Colic because there have been quite a few questions on it, anything people would like to add would be great and any mistakes in information let me know:

Sand Colic
What is Sand Colic and what are its causes?
Well first off colic is a stomach pain, this means that sand colic is a stomach pain caused by a build up of sand. The causes of sand colic are obvious, Sand colic is the result of sand building up in the intestinal zone of a horse. When a horse is eating meals and it is picking up the final scraps the horse may possibly pick up some sand as well, this can also happen when grazing. Although some horses mainly foals will eat sand deliberately.
Preventing Sand Colic:
Preventing Sand Colic can be a very hard thing to do, I myself know that when a horse is in a sandy paddock can be extremely difficult. The best supplement I have found to help prevent Sand Colic is Psyllium. Psyllium can come in several different forms, the one I use is a husk. I give one cup of Psyllium Husk a week, but this will range because of the size of the horse and the amount of sand on the ground, it is good to discuss this with your vet or someone at your local tack shop.

Results of Sand Colic: Sand Colic can be fatal if not dealt with in a major situation, the level of Sand Colic depends on the amount of sand the horse has eaten and the strength of the horses systems.

Signs of Sand Colic: Some of the signs of Sand Colic are rolling out of discomfort or repetitive rolling, pawing at the ground, depression, going off their food or water, kicking at their stomachs, diarrhoea or laying down for a long period of time.

What to Do If a Horse Has Sand Colic?
If a horse has sand colic the first thing you should do if you think it is serious or are un sure you should contact your vet. If your horse is laying down it is obviously comfortable so leave it laying down. People use to get their horses up and walk them around to help it pass through the horses system but now people just leave their horses to be.






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post #2 of 13 Old 11-06-2009, 12:19 PM
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Prevention: Access to plenty of forage has been shown to be as effective as psyllium at removing sand from the gut. Preventative measures also include feeding up off of the ground and with mats under feeding buckets so that anything that is dropped is not mixed in with sand when the horse tries to clean it up. Hay should be fed from hay nets or hay mangers.

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post #3 of 13 Old 11-06-2009, 11:22 PM
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Leaving a horse lying down if it is unwell is very bad. If a horse is unwell and it stays laying down the organs have a harder time working. They should not be left lying down!

It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-07-2009, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Eyes View Post
Leaving a horse lying down if it is unwell is very bad. If a horse is unwell and it stays laying down the organs have a harder time working. They should not be left lying down!
Really, I've been told by a vet -- not my vet -- that a horse should be left laying down

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post #5 of 13 Old 11-07-2009, 05:23 AM
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Not when it has colic it could easily roll then and twist its gut
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-07-2009, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChingazMyBoy View Post
Really, I've been told by a vet -- not my vet -- that a horse should be left laying down

They are very wrong. If they go down with colic you should get them up immediately. Though they want to be lying down you shouldn't leave them like that, it's really bad.

It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-07-2009, 11:20 AM
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I've read several articles recently stating there is no reason to pull up a horse who is laying quietly. In my experience if a horse is laying down, that's fine. IF they can lie quietly until a vet is out that's ok. If they are rolling that's very bad. Also if they are up, down, up, down, up then keep them up. Laying down because of a belly ache isn't the bad guy of the situation, its rolling - The reason for walking a horse is to keep his mind off from rolling, not laying.

If you are on a considerable amount of sand and worried about the potential of sand colic to a test. You can see if and how much sand your horse is getting by putting a handful of poop in a jar or rubber glove. Fill with water and swoosh it around some then let it settle. If I remember correctly the sand falls to the bottom, not sure how much is to much. Its something you can call and ask a vet on.

Many years ago back when my horses lived on nearly a sand box my vet said to on occasion use Equine Enteric Colloid as a preventative. Never had an issue so it must work. Its a a natural colloid fiber specifically designed for horses to aid in expelling and eliminating foreign material such as sand and undigestible feeds from the digestive tract.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-07-2009, 08:00 PM
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The weight of the horse on its already struggling organs makes lying down very dangerous.
There is more than one reason for walking, it's to keep them up and people believe the walking keeps the gut from twisting.

It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall.
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-08-2009, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Eyes View Post
They are very wrong. If they go down with colic you should get them up immediately. Though they want to be lying down you shouldn't leave them like that, it's really bad.
If the horse isn't rolling, there is no reason to make him move; I have been told this by several vets.

Think of it this way...when you're sick, do you want to move? Nope. I am pretty sure it is the same with our equine friends. So if they are laying down and not rolling around, leave them be. If they start trying to roll, by all means, get them up, and start getting them to walk about, to get their minds off of rolling.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-08-2009, 01:22 AM
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I don't really agree with keeping a horses hay off the ground. Hay usually always ends up there anyway. And it causes a horse to inhale more dust.

There is a test to see if your horses manure has alot of sand in it. You take some poopie and mix it in a bucket of water, let it sit for a half hour, pour off the excess and see if sand is left. A little is ok, but more than a teaspoon is bad, or something like that. Im sure its not really a science. Correct me if im wrong.
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