Anyone have any experience w/Collic in horses????

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Coco, May 16, 2008.

  1. Coco

    Coco In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2008
    Does anyone on here have any experience with Collic in horses?

    This evening I was up at the barn, fed everyone as usual including my filly (she's almost 2 years old) and as usual she gobbled up every last bite of grain. I went about my chores, about 15 minutes later I noticed she was looking sleepy or just like she didnt feel good. I watched her drop down slowly and just lay on her side. The she slightly rolled on that side and slowly got up a few seconds later. I thought...hmmm, that was strange. She didnt shake off or anything. Then about 2 minutes later, she did it again. And then another few minutes and she did it again. So at that point I obviously knew something was up. I called my husband but he knows less about horses than I do and then called my vet. My vet said it sounds like she has a little collic. He said to watch her closely and make sure she's not thrashing around wildly or acting like she's in a lot of pain or panicking. I pulled her into the dry lot w/her other 2 buddies and observed. She passed gas a couple times (a good sign the vet said) but no bowel movement (that's what he told me to watch for.) She walked over and began to lay down again but this time decided not to and got all the way back up before she had completely got down on the ground. She even ran like normal from the "bully"...our old Gielding that always chases her around. But she's acting so...blah. The vet said all to really watch for is if she gets worse. But we dont live on the land where the horses are. We'll go check on her again tonight, but I wondered if any of you guys had experience with Collic. How serious is? Is it very common? Is there anything I can do to help her? Walk her around or make her run...I dont know? Any advice? Sorry...she's my baby and I'm worried about her.
  2. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    We had a horse collic last year. We walked her around and didn't let her lay down. I'm no horse expert, but was told laying down and rolling can make it worse. Our vet also told us passing gas/poop were good signs. He also gave our horse a gallon of mineral oil by sticking a tube down her throat. We also kept offering her water trying to get her to drink. Hope someone else can give more advice/tips.
  3. newchickowner

    newchickowner Songster

    Aug 19, 2007
    yes, it's common, yes, it can be get serious if there is a blockage/twist/rupture etc. in her intestines. you can hand walk her until she has a bm and it may take a while. A trick we used several times after a half hour of brisk walking is load them up in a horse trailer. The majority of horses poop right away once they're loaded in a trailer and that could help. Some more stubborn collics would require a trip around the farm before we got them to poop.

    Don't let her get down and roll over and over as this may cause a twist in the intestines, but sometimes the movement of laying down and getting back up can help move things through her system as well. Just keep an eye on her and keep your vet well informed of her behaviors. He'll know when she's colliced long enough and will have to come out to treat her further.
    Last edited: May 16, 2008
  4. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    Yes, try to keep her walking and do not let her lay down and roll. If she starts rolling and thrashing, call vet and alert him! Sometimes getting some mineral oil into them will help lubricate and get things moving. Colic is very scarey and can be very serious.
  5. newchickowner

    newchickowner Songster

    Aug 19, 2007
    also, it's a good idea to keep Banamine on hand at all times. This is like Tylenol for horses. Ask your vet for it and he should supply you with some and give some instruction as to how and when to use it.

    Oh, I'm not sure where you are but I'm originally from FL and we always put a small handfull of salt in their grain everytime we fed. You can buy it in 30-50 pound bags. This makes them thirsty and they'll usually head straight for the water after eating, this helps to get them to drink more water. Very useful tip for the winter time and cooler months. We also poured about 1-2 tablespoons of mineral oil on there as well just to keep everything well lubricated and moving smoothly.
    Last edited: May 16, 2008
  6. Coco

    Coco In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2008
    Thanks everyone! We just got back from going to check on her. I took her temp, it was 100.8...I read anything between 99 and 101 is normal, so that's a good sign. And my husband took her out into the yard and walked her briskly, he turned her in a lot of her really moving. She was acting herself, he thought. Somewhat bossy and she often does when he gets her out of the dry lot and pasture and gets her going around. He took her back in the dry lot and walked her some more...he said he's no expert but she seemed back to normal to him. He said she passed gas a couple times but didn't poop at all. When he let her go, she went to lick a empty bowl and then headed back over to her mom, who she's still very close to even though she's nearly 2 years old. So hopefully she'll be ok...I'll check on her first thing tomorrow. Thanks for the great advice once again! Everyone on this board is so great about getting back to questions so quickly and are so helpful!!!
  7. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    I hope she's ok. We had a horse get colic and she wanted to roll. My husband and I walked and walked her. She pooped several times but she was still in pain. We didn't think she was going to make it but she did.

  8. I've been very lucky(knock on wood) but I had a friend who lost her horse about two years ago to colic. She was an arabian mare and just had a baby 6 weeks before. My friend is a farrier so she is very knowlegable, they tried everything.
  9. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    Glad to hear she was okay. Yes, colic is VERY serious and VERY common with horses. We usually walk our's or lunge them in the round-pen. We lost a three year old colt this year because he coliced early in the night(probably around 9PM) and we didn't find him until 11AM in the next morning. It was too late for Barbeque by then, he died while we were trying to walk him to the gate.

    When they roll and thrash around on the ground while collicing, they can knot up their digestive track, mainly their intestines. A knot in the intestines causes a blockage and a build-up which lead to a rupture. Poor Barbeque had already ruptured his intestine and was about to rupture his stomache as well by the time he died. We had a necrospy done, which is how we found the ruptured intestine and the about-to-rupture stomache. It was a long sad day.

    Do whatever necessary to keep them off the ground and from rolling, that is the most important part. If they hurt bad enough, they will come right over on top of you to roll, so be careful, remember this is a large animal in pain. Talk to your vet about keeping pain meds of your own on hand for emergencies, most vets will let you have some and show you how to use it. When we have a colic case here, we give them pain meds(Banamine) and make them walk. If they are hurting so bad they won't walk on a lead rope, we force them to walk with two people on the leadrope and one behind with the lunge whip. A couple of good pops on the rump with the lunge whip gets them distracted on the whip instead of their stomache pain and we usually get better results, as I said, any means necessary to get them up and moving.

    I could tell you more, but it involves stomache tubes and most people cannot insert stomache tubes effectively.

    I'm very glad she was okay.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I am glad that Coco's horse sounds to be okay now!

    A couple comments on colic in general, though:

    Walking is a traditional thing to do for a colicky horse but it can be overdone. Gentle exercise, to try to get the horse moving and sort of jostle things along in the intestines so to speak, can indeed be useful. (As can a short trailer ride, actually, as long as the horse trailers well). However, walking and walking and walking and walking just gives you a colicky *and exhausted* horse, which is not conducive to anything good. So it's important to be mindful of what you're trying to achieve and the state of the horse.

    AFAIK modern veterinary opinion is that rolling DOES NOT cause a twisted intestine -- the only reason for a relationship between the two things is that if a horse already *has* a torsion, it will be in tremendous pain and want to roll. However, violent rolling can cause other injuries, both to the horse and handler, so you still do want to discourage it. On the other hand, merely lying down, if a tired unhappy horse needs to just lie quietly and rest for a little while, is not generally considered to be a problem.

    Here's hoping nobody *has* another colicky horse anytime soon, of course,


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