How To Deal With Colic In A Horse?

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How To Deal With Colic In A Horse?
How To Deal With Colic In A Horse?

Video: How To Deal With Colic In A Horse?

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Video: How to Deal With Colic in Horses 2023, January
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Preparing ahead of time for what to do when your horse has colic will help you avoid panic and increase the horse's chances of a speedy recovery

First, you need to know the normal temperature and heart rate and respiration rate of horses. Temperature - from 37.5 to 38.5 ° C. Pulse rate from 24 to 42 beats per minute. Respiratory rate from 8 to 15 breaths per minute.

Measure this on your horse several times and write the information down. This will be the initial data with which further measurement results can be compared. Write down all information. If you are unsure how to take these notes, ask your veterinarian or someone experienced to show you around. Measure the horse's temperature, pulse and breathing while at rest. Results after exercise will be overestimated.

Veterinarian is listening to a horse, photo photograph
Veterinarian is listening to a horse, photo photograph

Prepare your horse transport if necessary. It is very important that you have a means of transport ready if you need to transport your horse. Many horses arrive at the clinic too late due to transport delays. You and your stable staff should have the phone numbers of the veterinarian, clinic, and people on hand to help you move your horse if needed. This is especially important if you live far from the nearest clinic. Find out in advance where she is and how to get there. It is always helpful to have a mobile phone with you. You should know in detail the terms of your insurance, the type of policy and contact information.Does this include costs of surgery, medication, death? If the horse is insured, call the insurance company when the situation clears up and inform them of colic, especially if the horse is admitted to the clinic. Ask your veterinarian to best cover the costs.

You should always have a history of the horse's illness at hand with notes on vaccinations, deworming and dental procedures performed.

Surgical treatment for colic

If medication has not worked for your horse, you may need to seek the help of a surgeon. To determine if surgery is needed, the clinic will conduct a series of tests. Usually your veterinarian can determine this directly in the stable, but in some cases it is worth taking the horse to an inpatient clinic for intensive treatment, including fluid therapy.

Surgical intervention is usually indicated in the following cases:

- Pain worsens and does not go away under the influence of painkillers, - Abdominal distension increases, - Reflux probe, - The fluid pumped out from the stomach is cloudy or contains blood, - Colic follows one after another, - Rectal examination shows the presence blockage or volvulus.

The cost of such an operation is high and may increase if complications arise. After surgery, a minimum of 12 weeks must elapse before horses are allowed to exercise. Usually the horse is observed in the clinic for a week after the operation, and then for another 3 months it can only be carefully removed in the levada.

Horse lying on the ground rolling on its back, photo photograph
Horse lying on the ground rolling on its back, photo photograph

If the horse has had colic once, the possibility of a relapse is possible, although this depends on the nature of the colic and the type of surgical procedure used to treat it. Before agreeing to an operation, ask the surgeon to explain to you how it goes and what the complications might be. Not every horse owner can afford colic surgery and it is possible that medication will replace surgery. But if the veterinarian claims that surgery is urgently needed, it means that if you disagree, the horse will die.

How to reduce the chance of relapse

It is usually impossible to determine the exact cause of colic. Veterinarians say colic is mostly the result of human error. It may or may not be true, but poor horse grooming can be a trigger for colic. It is difficult to completely control the nutrition of horses as they graze constantly. Some experts argue that excessive consumption of pelleted feed causes flatulence, others believe that the use of an automatic drinker reduces the risk of intestinal blockage, but usually no conclusion follows from these observations. One thing is clear, any sudden change in diet is bad for the digestive system and increases the risk of colic.

What is colic?
What is colic?

Related article What is colic?

To know if your horse is at risk for colic, answer the following questions for yourself

- Has the horse's diet changed in the last 2 weeks?

- Is the horse drinking enough? Does she have good water?

- Is the horse getting enough salt? (the daily dose should be at least 1% of the amount of dry feed, and for heavily sweating horses, 2% is better).

- Have the horse been transferred to another pasture recently? (Give your horse hay before taking your horse to a new pasture to reduce the influence of unusual plants that may be there).

- Have there been any recent situations that caused stress, pain, fever, excessive sweating, dehydration?

- Does the horse get regular physical activity? (If the exercise is intermittent, the horse may get used to the irregular intake of water and fluids, which will lead to stress).

- Is the horse constantly taking phenibutazone or similar medications? If so, can you stop giving this drug, or at least reduce the dose? Are you aware of the toxicity of these drugs?

- Does the horse eat a lot of grain feed, especially granular? If so, diversify your grain sources and reduce your pelleted feed intake.

- Is colic food related? If so, bring this to the attention of your veterinarian. There are a number of reasons, including stomach ulcers, that can cause this type of colic.

- Does the horse receive alfalfa hay, and if so, is it his usual food?

- Do you give the horse feed additives?

Remember, many supplements have not been tested for safety and effectiveness. " Cocktails" of several feed additives can lead to gastrointestinal problems. Small amounts of supplements will help prevent the problem, but this is not a complete guarantee that your horse will avoid digestive upset.

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