Monitoring Equine Colic – Signs & Symptoms


Monitoring Equine Colic – Signs & Symptoms

As the season changes, so do our horse’s day to day routines which means we need to be extra vigilant when monitoring equine colic symptoms. Routine is so important to horses and even though we try our best to maintain a daily schedule, the changeable weather, life commitments and unpredictable circumstances, can all throw routine off course.

It ca be difficult to spot the signs and symptoms of colic, with so many signs and symptoms to with keep a look out for! That’s why we’ve put together some of the most common symptoms of the gastric disorder, some risk factors you should keep in mind when monitoring your horse for colic development, plus some high-tech ways to give you piece of mind over this worrying period of change.

Risk Factors Of Colic

With the change in season, comes an increased with risk of colic. Routine changes, stress, and changes to feed, can all increase the chance your horse may experience colic symptoms. When monitoring your horse for colic symptoms, make sure to bear in mind your horse’s health status and environment. Think about;

  • Possible tooth problems; has your horse recently seen a registered equine dentist. Once per year is normally recommended, however those suffering from poor quality teeth or dental condition may need to be seen more regularly.
  • Digestive Health; is your horse suffering from a worm burden or have they suffered from colic before; both of these factors can majorly increase the risk of a colic episode.
  • Feeding regime; has your horse’s feeding regime recently changed? This can be anything from introducing hay back into your horse’s diet, after a summer of grazing, to poor feed hygiene or a change in daily timings.
  • Stress; has your horse recently experience a stressful situation? This could be physically, such as long travel period or intense competition, or psychologically, like a change in yards.
  • Pasture quality; poor or overgrazed pasture predisposes horse to ingests sand and soil, which cannot be broken down in the stomach. This may build up and cause a blockage, otherwise known as impaction colic. Make sure to keep on top of your pasture quality and put in place management to maintain grass length.





The body cannot tell the different between physical and phycological stress, so it reacts in the same way! That’s why it’s so important not to over work our horse’s and to know their limits.




Monitoring Equine Colic; Pawing the ground can be a sign of discomfort, which is prevalent in most colic cases
Monitoring Equine Colic; Pawing the ground can be a sign of discomfort, which is prevalent in most colic cases.

Colic Symptoms

Symptoms of equine colic include, but are not limited to;

  • Restlessness and pawing at the ground
  • Sweating and increased breathing rate
  • Irritated kicking to the stomach
  • Stretching as if to urinate
  • Rolling or attempting to roll
  • Elevated pulse rate.

Keep your eye out for a change in dropping or the amount of dropping, appetite changes and the behaviour of your horse. If your horse shows increased signs of depression or anxiety, then there may be something wrong.

Monitoring Gadgets

Nowadays you can use technology for practically anything. For those days when you are worried about leaving your horse, wheather they are recovering from a colic episode or are suffering from mild signs and symptoms, use of these gadgets may alert you before it’s too late. These gadgets are a great part of any equestrians toolkits, keeping your priece of mind and your toes warm all winter long!


Monitoring visual signs…

Monitoring Equine Colic - Motorola Scout73

We love the Motorola SCOUT73 Wi-Fi home video camera for monitoring horse from afar. The outdoor camera is perfect for monitoring your horse and their activities during the day and night, with a high-quality image and infrared night vision to show you exactly what they are getting up too!

Carry on with your day to day life, as you can take the real-time recording with you whenever and wherever you go. The SCOUT73videos are compatible with smartphones, tablets and computers, and the camera can be controlled via a downloadable app, for the optimum insight into your horse’s stable.

Not only will you receive a live recording of your horse, you will also receive updates on sound, motion and the temperature, so you know exactly when you might need to change your rugs! Plus, if your horse gets up to any entertaining mischief, you can share the videos with your friends, family and yard-buddies!



Monitoring vital signs…

Monitoring Equine Colic - Nightwatch

Monitoring vital signs might seems impossible when you are no their in person, however with technology advancing every single day, NIGHTWATCH have made it possible!

Designing a completely safe, breakaway ‘smart’ head collar, the NIGHTWATCH halter will alert you to problems via text, voice, or email. Embedded with radio frequency technology, the head collar can detect changes in heart rate and respiratory rate. Meanwhile, the accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer and altimeter will detect activity, motion and even the posture of your horse. Therefore, it is the perfect tool to note whether your horse may be in distress from the comfort of your own home.

Some of the items featured in this article, we may earn a commission on should you choose to buy.  If though, for whatever reason, you choose to return the item we will not. With this in mind, we aim to only give relevant recommendations and information that may help you in the decision process when choosing whether or not to buy.


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Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse Ba Hons Marketing Management email:

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