How long until a horse begins to colic? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-18-2020, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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How long until a horse begins to colic?

Yesterday afternoon, my buddy decided to eat a plastic bag, thankfully it wasn't a big bag, but I've kept him stalled just in case he colics and I haven't seen him pass it yet. Am I okay to turn him out or can he still have the chance of colicing because of it? Should he have by now if he was going to?

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post #2 of 19 Old 09-18-2020, 04:47 PM
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It takes 24 hours to pass through a horse's digestive system. Many times horses have swallowed plastic bags and nothing happens, they just poop it out. Check through his manure. Did he swallow the thing whole or did he chew it up? Plastic itself is not going to make him colic, I think about the only thing it will do is give him an impaction if it gets caught up somewhere but plastic slides pretty good.
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-18-2020, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
It takes 24 hours to pass through a horse's digestive system. Many times horses have swallowed plastic bags and nothing happens, they just poop it out. Check through his manure. Did he swallow the thing whole or did he chew it up? Plastic itself is not going to make him colic, I think about the only thing it will do is give him an impaction if it gets caught up somewhere but plastic slides pretty good.
He swallowed it whole, and he hasn't passed it yet, I've been checking his manure each time he goes. It was a baby carrot sack, and he's had lots of health issues in the past with an old owner so this just overly worries me haha
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-18-2020, 06:16 PM
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My horses have eaten the carrot bags from 5 pounds of and not had any problem...
Make sure he is still eating his hay and drinking plenty...
24 hours is the first amount of time you might see the bag reappear...happy sight that will be for you.


As for in or out...out!!
If possible keep him I would keep him in a paddock or that indoor so a dirt appearance and you will not miss a pile of poop..
Him being out though is better for his digestive tract to move along...sedentary horses are more prone to digestive issues than a horse who can have normal activity of moseying around...
Colic, well at least my horses when they colic they go bad fast, down and trying to roll is not a way your ever want a horse in distress to be flailing in a stall where you will be trapped and the horse can do a ton more damage to themself against walls...it is not a pretty sight a sick horse flailing in distress...
OUT....far better for him for many reasons.
My vet tells me 72 hours when a more severe episode presents to have some breathing room of past the worst...
Carrot bag poop should be getting near the end of the digestive track soon...keep watching.
...
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-18-2020, 06:22 PM
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My dog ate a small plastic package of earplugs, whole, didn't even chew on them. I didn't know he did that until I was picking up poo in the yard and there they were in his turds. For what it's worth, OP, plastic bags rarely pose a problem. the reason why he probably hasn't passed him yet is because he hasn't been walking around as much as he usually would.

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post #6 of 19 Old 09-18-2020, 07:36 PM
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I was using my metal detector in the pasture one day, though I'd check the horse belly. It indicated metal and quite a lot. What it is, how/when it got there I don't know. It wasn't long after we got her. I keep pastures clean of any trash.

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post #7 of 19 Old 09-18-2020, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fuddyduddy1952 View Post
I was using my metal detector in the pasture one day, though I'd check the horse belly. It indicated metal and quite a lot. What it is, how/when it got there I don't know. It wasn't long after we got her. I keep pastures clean of any trash.

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Oh wow!! I actually work at the barn my horses are kept at and one of the workers dumps his mcdonald's garbage in the field when he works an it aggravates me SOOOO much!! Thankfully the horses are pretty smart, but my dingus, if he smells food inside he will eat everything around it as well which is what happened here 😂
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-18-2020, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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I turned him out this evening after wrapping his heel sores, and went back out a few hours later to check up on him. He's doing good and is running around the field with his friends all happy! I'll continue to keep an eye on him the next day or so, just cause I'm such a worrywart about him!
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-19-2020, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bigskyhooves View Post
Oh wow!! I actually work at the barn my horses are kept at and one of the workers dumps his mcdonald's garbage in the field when he works an it aggravates me SOOOO much!! Thankfully the horses are pretty smart, but my dingus, if he smells food inside he will eat everything around it as well which is what happened here 😂
I would then go out and pic it up and then deposit it in his car with a note that says "Use the garbage can."

I have never had an experience of my horses eating plastic bags. That I'm aware of anyway.

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post #10 of 19 Old 09-19-2020, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by LoriF View Post

I have never had an experience of my horses eating plastic bags. That I'm aware of anyway.
Me neither, BUT Onery Rusty has always has a penchant for putting things in his mouth, particularly paper towels.

A few years back I was grooming him for turnout, when he started nodding his head up and down. Turns out he had grabbed a couple of paper towels out of the grooming tub and had them half way down the hatch. My arm was in his mouth up to my elbow retrieving them.

To this day I can’t leave paper towels within his reach, or scissors, or his fly mask, or certain brushes ——-

Ditto leaving the garbage throwing kid a note to keep his food crumbs in the car
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