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What do you know about colic?

3237 Views 32 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  CESJ
I was just thinking "There are sooooo many different signs of colic and different kinds of colic, how can one person learn every one without having to read through 100 books about horse health?".

Every person that reads this post can say one thing that they know about colic per reply to this post, ONE PER REPLY!

If every one of the 4000+ people that view this thread every day post one thing we will all probably learn something!

Please fallow the rules to keep this thread clean and easy to read and fun to learn from(NO ARGUING).

To make this just a little more fun for us horse geeks, ever person that posts must find one particularly informational, interesting or down right genius reply and **LIKE IT** this way anyone who is new to horses can read a reply and then look how many *LIKES* there are to help them judge weather or not to take note.

Please be respectful, polite and have fun :lol:
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If something doesn't seem right, watch very very closely. Symptoms or whatever are specific but knowing when "somethings" up can be a life saver. Some horses don't really show anything.
 

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Extreme restlessness and/or reluctance to eat are often signs that a horse may be experiencing colic. The restlessness can take different forms, including pacing, pawing, and excessive rolling (which can be especially serious because this can sometimes cause the intestines to twist). Basically, the horse just seems really uncomfortable and "not right".
 

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Sure, a horse that lies down and stays down for a long long time (not sleeping) or a horse thats up and down a lot but that goes with restless.

Guess I misunderstood the "rules" :)
 

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Over all our years with horses, the most common sign that I've seen is that a horse is not eating as normal, e.g. not finishing grain or following the herd/buddies around in the pasture but standing around and not grazing.
 

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Know your horses norms - just being "not quite right" is often an early symptom, and that can be anything from slight listlessness, to overt restlessness. My work lost a horse on Boxing Day to colic, the only symptoms he showed were being listless, off his food, and lacking gut sounds - he had a complete twist in his large intestine, and was euthanised within 48 hours of the first symptom.
 
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colic, call a vet don't wait or guess!
^^ This. It's the number one thing that I'll tell people regarding colic. It's better to pay the vet to come out and say that there's nothing wrong than have your horse take a turn for the worst. If you are boarding, then give the barn owner/manager and anyone who regularly cares for your horse clear instructions of what to do if your horse is colicing and you can't be reached. I've given my barn manager clear instructions to call me first if there is an issue, call my father if she can't reach me, and if she can't reach either of us then CALL THE VET. There aren't many calls that I'll walk out of class to answer, but one from my barn manager definitely falls under that category.

Indiesaurus is right as well- know your horse. Numerous times at my old barn (a large place with unfamiliar people there regularly) people would come up to me with a concerned look and tell me that my horse was lying down. I'd always check him and he was fine, but I do really appreciate the concern that people showed for a stranger's horse. The fact that my horse is lying down doesn't concern me generally. He does it on a daily basis. However, I know what he's like when he's sleeping. If there's something off about it then I'm concerned.

The horse in the stall next to mine has sent me in a panic on multiple occasions. He also sleeps flat out on his side like a dead horse. And he'll make awful sounding groaning noises while doing so. I'll rush into his stall and 10 seconds later he's standing up perfectly normal.
 

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OP: You are gonna have a hard time getting one tidbit per reply.. :) There is a lot!
IndisaurasRex: That is super impt: know their normal behaviors! This also helps to gauge how bad it is, in my opinion

My add: sweating. DH's horse had all the other EARLY symptoms, and was covered in sweat turned to ice balls (was night time in February). I didn't realize they could sweat due to colic.
 

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Symptoms listed above and listen to the gut (left side).
If you don´t have a stethaskope in your First Aid Box.....GET ONE!!!
Just wanted to make note- listen to both sides. Right behind the rib high and low. You may hear something on one and not the other. Horses have a rather large gut! Silence is bad but other things can be bad too, do your research.
 

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Just wanted to make note- listen to both sides. Right behind the rib high and low. You may hear something on one and not the other. Horses have a rather large gut! Silence is bad but other things can be bad too, do your research.
If I recall my anatomy from school the intestines are predominently on the left.........though you should be able to here from both sides.
 

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Lyra- I had my first horse for 1 week. One day, when I went to see him he wasn't acting right. I couldn't risk waiting or guessing...after all he was my first love. So I called the vet. It was colic. Know what is normal for your horse. Like the others have said some classic signs not eating, rolling, looking at stomach, excessive pawing. not pooping and there are more but the key here is to know your horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just to set things straight this information is not specifically for me(Though you can never know enough about colic)I have been the assistant manager of a stable for two year and have dealt with a dozen or more cases of colic luckily none of them ending in the horse having to be euthanized*Nock on wood*but I have been seeing allot of beginners asking about colic latelly and allot of people buying horses with no clue what colic is. I though having this post with many tip tricks and signs of colic would be helpful to those who need it.


GET A STETHOSCOPE!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My tips tricks and signs.

If a horse is looking at their stomach.
If a horse is standing around pinning their ears.
If a horse is kicking at there stomach.
Lack of poop in the stall(A reason to clean stalls and such everyday)
Laying on their back, or trying.
Bloating in one or both sides.
Those are a few I haven't seen yet.
Fallow the link bellow for more.

Interesting fact->In a BAD case of sand colic you can sometimes feel the heavy sand in the bottom of the horses belly.

If you see your horse possibly eating sand or dirt. V
Get a clean bucket filled with water.
Collect a handful of your horses feces THAT HAS NOT TOUCHES THE GROUND(from the top of a fresh pile)and does not have any dirt on it from the stall.
Put it into the bucket of water.
stir and break apart until there are no clumps AT ALL.
Pour off most of the water.
Now feel the bottom of the bucket for very small rocks and/or sand.
Sand will sink.
If there is ANY sand I recommend putting your horse on sand clear for a couple weeks or so.
Call the vet if you horse is showing any signs of colic!
Sand clear only works after a period of time colic kills in a matter of minutes.
Wasn't that fun?? :D

Check for gut sounds on BOTH BOTH BOTH sides!!
A lack of gut sounds(On either or both sides)mean a lack of bowls movements COLIC(CALL THE VET).

Some common causes. V

  • High grain based diets/Low forage diets
  • Moldy/Tainted feed
  • Abrupt change in feed
  • Parasite infestation
  • Lack of water consumption leading to impaction colics
  • Sand ingestion
  • Long term use of NSAIDS
  • Stress
  • Dental problems

Unless you are extremely experienced,
Do not give the horse any medication,
Do not feed the horse,
Do not walk the horse,
Without consulting a vet!!

Fallow this link for more information about colic, causes and symptoms-> Did you know? | My Horse University


Always have this in the barn.
 

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In the middle of dealing with a colic. Very large impaction in a 28 year old horse.

He is doing ok, but the reason I knew something was up was just several different oddities that I may of dismissed by themselves. He was down then up then I noticed him down again and when I pulled him out he was not acting like himself and was actually very lethargic. The poor guys so old he was tired out from the stress.

So as I said before, biggest colic sign is when something isn't right. Pull out the horse and watch them and chances are you'll notice more specific signs.
 
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