Monitoring Equine Colic – Signs & Symptoms

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

It can be difficult to spot the signs and symptoms of colic, with so many to watch 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, and 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 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? While once per year is normally recommended, those suffering from poor-quality teeth or dental conditions 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 experienced a stressful situation? This could be physical, such as a long travel period or intense competition, or psychological, like a change in yards.
  • Pasture quality: poor or overgrazed pasture predisposes horses to ingest 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.

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 your horse’s behaviour. 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, whether 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 equestrian toolkit, keeping your piece of mind and your toes warm all winter long!

Monitoring visual signs…

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 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.


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