Unlike with human babies, colic in horses can become really serious. In fact, it is considered as an emergency because of the potential damage that it can do to the horses. Even when treated immediately, only some will respond to treatment and medication. The condition of most will only deteriorate.
Colic in horses, like in humans, is pinpointed to a problem in the digestive system. Horses will feel pain in their abdomen, which can cause them to act wild. Horses who are suffering from colic will also cry and shout. They will also prance and buck wherever they are. This may cause injuries to themselves and also to the people who go near them.
There are several types of colic in horses. One is a colic caused by a problem with gas. This is called spasmodic colic. Another type is caused by obstructions in some parts of the body, particularly in the colon or in the intestines, where the structure is a lot narrower compared to other species. Often, impactions like this in different parts of their bodies will require treatment, from something as simple as oil and medication to fluid therapy, depending on the severity of the problem. Other types that horse lovers and owners should watch out for are colics brought on by overeating and those caused by worms.
Signs of colic in horses
There are many signs of colic in horses, primary of this is the apparent restlessness and abrupt loss of appetite. Like babies, they will also be grouchy and fitful. Appetite is one of the most important things that horse owners should observe as this can be frequently overlooked. Another possible sign of colic is that the horse will become restless at one time and listless the other time. They will unusually be lacking in energy and will be lying down for a period of time. Other times, they will be at their most active.
This is when the colic is already in its advanced form and the horse can no longer bear the pain. They will tart to paw, prance, and kick the belly. They will be looking at their sides often, and rolling their upper lip. Some will also be jerking their tails, stretching their legs and going from one place to another, unable to rest.
In severe instances, they can get so wild that they will throw themselves down and assume positions that are so unnatural. They will groan and roll and paw.
Although sometimes, horses can be mighty moody sometimes, all these happening at the same period of time, recurring more than twice should already sound the alarm bells especially if the behavior is so unlike your horse’s temperament.
What to do
The first thing that you should do if you suspect colic in your horse is to not panic. This advice can be hard to take in when your horse is tearing the barn down with their wild behavior. But panic will not accomplish anything. You need a clear mind to deal with the problem. Besides, the feelings of panic will only be picked up by your horse, thereby exacerbating their own worries and fears.
The next thing that you should do is to call the veterinarian. Ask for assistance and do not attempt to solve it by yourself or to wait until the condition improves. Remember that colic is a serious matter and should be treated as soon as possible.