Colic


Colic is a manifestation of abdominal pain which is usually due to gastrointestinal pain.

IncidencePicture1

  • 4.2 colics per 100 horses per year (4.2%)
  • 16.3% of farms have more than one a year
  • 1.4% of all colics required surgery
  • 11% fatality rate

 

Colic Signs

  • Kicking at bellyPicture2
  • Rolling
  • Laying down or attempting to lay down
  • Flank-watching
  • Stretching out
  • “Playing” in water bucket
  • Flehmen

 Picture3

What You Can DoPicture4

  • Remove hay and grain
  • Hand-walk
  • Keep from rolling

    • Prevent trauma

  • Administer medications*

    • Banamine: paste or injection (IV, IM)
    • *check with vet before giving any meds!

 

What the Vet Can Do

  • Repeat physical exam
  • Sedate if necessary

    • Too painful to work around

  • Pass nasogastric tube*- “refluxing”

    • Picture5Check if the stomach is full
    • Administer treatments (H2O, Elytes, oil)

  • Rectal exam

    • palpate for any abnormalitiesPicture6

  • Administer medications

    • Banamine (anti-inflammatory)
    • Buscopan (antisposmodic)
    • Intravenous Fluids

      • (some horses require sedation for this procedure)

 

When is Surgery Needed?

Picture7

  • #1 indication for colic surgery is when there is continued pain that is unresponsive to pain medications or sedation

 

 

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