You guys are awesome, thank you so much for looking after Taruni. - Sue from Greenbank
- Colic is the general term for a horse stomach-ache. A horse’s digestive system is built very differently to ours, one major difference being that they cannot throw up.
Another problem is that they have a large fermentation vat after the food gets through the small intestine and into the large intestine. In fact an average horse’s intestine is about 60 feet or 20 metres long, folded up into the relatively small space of a horse’s abdomen. This basically means that they are more likely to suffer digestive problems, because whatever goes in only has one way out, and it is a long and winding road.
Horses are designed to graze almost continually just to get the nutrients they need and, unlike us, produce acid in their stomachs constantly, not just in response to food. Domesticating horses disrupts this process, particularly if the horse is stabled or has no access to grazing pasture. We also supplement our horse’s diet with grains and chaff, which, if not done carefully, can seriously upset their digestive system.In comparison to our digestive system the horse's one is relatively long and moves freely. It is possible for the gut to tangle itself, causing serious complications. Colic can be caused or brought on by many factors, some of these being a sudden change in diet, stress, water deprivation, feeding straight after exercise, anything un-natural ingested, erratic management, and much more.
If you horse displays any of the following symptoms please phone us on 5543 1213 or 0409 884 377 for veterinary advice & assistance, as an untreated colic case can sometimes be lethal:
- rolling violently
- lack of appetite
- kicking at their belly
- elevated pulse rate
- lack of or decreased digestive sounds
- sweating excessively
- pawing at the ground
- turning of their head to their belly
- lip curling (Phlehmen response)
- repeatedly lying down and standing up
- straining to pass manure, without passing any.