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What Is Equine Colic?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Owen Jones @ 9:49 pm February 23, 2012
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If you have or have had a horse, you will probably have heard of equine colic. However, when you strive to find out what equine colic is, you run up against a brick wall. This is because the term is an old one, dating from the days when surgery and the knowledge of how bodies work was in its childhood. The term ‘equine’ naturally refers to ‘horses’ – from the Latin, but ‘colic’?

Well, ‘colic’ refers to any (spasmodic) pain originating in the stomach, intestines or bowels, but what colic does not reference is a precise disease. Therefore, if you say: ‘My horse is suffering from colic’, you are saying that your horse has abdominal pains, but you do not know what is causing them or you are not saying, if you do know.

In other words colic refers to indications not an actual disease. You will usually have to call in a vet if you want to discover the cause of the pain. Occasionally, these abdominal pains pass on their own like wind, but other times it can be indicative of a difficulty, especially if the colic lasts more than an hour or so.

If the pain lasts for more than a few hours, you need to take the decision whether to call in the vet or not. This is never cheap as all animal-lovers know and if surgery is required then costs will go through the roof.

The decision is a problematic one and depends mainly on the value of the animal to you. Numerous horses die of undefined ‘colic’ because the owner will not or cannot pay thousands of dollars for a vets help.

Familiarity will help the horse owner to judge whether the cause of the colic will pass or whether surgery is vital and a good vet will give you an honest estimation for the price of a call-out charge, which will normally be around $100..

It is difficult for the young or greenhorn owner of a horse to know if their animal has a difficulty, but if an animal, including a human, is off its food, you can be fairly sure that something is wrong.

It may simply have eaten something mildly poisonous or it might have flatulence, but it may have consumed something like a nail by accident too. If a horse keeps looking at its flanks or even nipping at them, there might be a difficulty too.

Your horse may have a blockage or constipation if you see him having problems doing his business. This may pass or it might take a laxative to ease him or it could be something more serious.

We have all seen horses rolling in rapture in a field, but if your horse is rolling in another fashion – you think it is not the same, that may also be an sign that he has a problem. So would undue sweating after little or no exercise.

An experienced horse person will have seen all this before and have an notion what to do, but it is very worrying for the novice.

Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on a variety of subjects, but is currently concerned with the distemper in horses. If you want to kcurrently more, please visit our website at Distemper Vaccines

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