Colicing Horse – What do I do?

A colicing horse will need immediate veterinary attention

Colicing Horse – What do I do?

A colicing horse can look very unwell and it can be frightening to episode to watch, although in other cases symptoms can appear minimal which can leave you wondering why the horse doesn’t seem quite right. Either way, a colicing horse needs immediate veterinary attention.

Sweating, box walking, rolling, lethargy, straining and continuously looking at the flank can all by symptoms that can signal equine colic, however here we take a look at what to do in case of an emergency.

Guest article written by: Merete Hass BSC (Hons) BVSc MRCVS helps out with what to do if your horse colics;

Suspect you have a colicing horse? Here’s what to do …

  • Call your vet immediately

Colic is potentially very serious, if left untreated it can lead to death in a matter of hours. Most cases are not serious but those that do require surgery have a far better prognosis the earlier a diagnosis is made.

  • Safety first

Decide whether it is safe to enter your horses stable. Violently colicing horses can be very unpredictable and very dangerous and you should not jeopardise your safety.

  • Do not allow a colicing horse to eat

If it’s safe to do so, remove any food from the stable but leave water available.

  • Ongoing observation

Observe your horse and keep a note of what your horse is doing until the vet arrives, this way you have documented the events taking place which will help the vet when diagnosing the type of colic.

  • Walking the horse

If safe to do so, walk your horse in a headcollar. This reduces the likelihood of horses potentially causing themselves harm within their stable, it also distracts them from the pain of the episode. Walking a horse with colic can also help with moving gas through the intestinal tract, which can help alleviate symptoms until the vet arrives. Ideally, a menage or an area with soft ground is the best place to walk the horse. Remember to take it easy, encourage the horse – don’t force it.

Discover the different types of colic here

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