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How to Prevent Colic in Horses? Signs & Causes

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How to Prevent Colic in Horses? Signs & Causes

What is Horse Colic?

Horse Colic is perhaps the most common sickness in a horse.

It is the medical term which is applied when describing pain in the abdomen of horses.

Horse colic is of many types and is usually caused due to a tightening of a horse’s digestive tract.

A twisted intestine or an obstruction in your horse’s intestine brings about a dangerous situation at times even potentially leading to the death of the horse.

What Causes Colic in Horses?

Common causes of horse colic are:

These symptoms and causes of colic in horses need to know to avoid creating a dangerous situation for your horse health by following our useful treatments.

  1)   Presence of internal parasites in horses:

Parasites such as Strongyle larvae damages the blood vessels in a horse’s intestine.

This, in turn, reduces the supply of blood to the affected area exacerbating the damage.

This damaged intestine may lead to pain and subsequently decreased responsiveness and at times even necrosis.

In tests, it has been found that a significant number of roundworms cause obstruction or impaction in a horse’s intestine.

  2)   Change in Feed for Horses:

Any sudden change in a horse’s feed or the presence of mold in horse feed can lead to colic.

Improperly digested feed occasionally causes an obstruction in your horse’s digestive system which eventually can result in your horse developing colic.

  3)   Insufficient roughage in diet:

Horse diet lacking in proper roughage can at times lead to colic as well.

It is essential to ensure that long stem roughage is a part of your horse’s daily diet.

  4)   Sand Colic in Horses:

Lack of healthy fiber or at times boredom causes horses to nibble at dirt or even scraps of hay.

This presence of dirt causes the accumulation of sand in its stomach.

This increases the horse’s risk for developing a type of colic known as sand colic.

  5)   Water for Horses:

Lack of sufficient water results in colic and at times even causes impaction to occur in a horse, which is a potentially dangerous situation.

Ways of treating colic in horses

These symptoms and causes of colic in horses need to know to avoid creating a dangerous situation for your horse health by following our useful treatments.

  1)   Horse Walking:

Walking the horse regularly. This helps relieve the symptoms of colic aiding in the prevention of intestinal twisting.

Walking a horse may also help in relieving the pressure buildup in a horse’s intestines.

However, in case after thirty minutes of walking there is no relief, then be sure to contact your veterinarian immediately.

  2)   Horse Exercises:

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Regularly exercising your horse will assist overall health and also assist in the normal functioning of the digestive tract.

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  3)   Deworming for Horse:

Regular deworming sessions help in decreasing damage caused as a result of parasites.

  4)   Psyllium for Horses:

Feeding your horse the recommended quantity of psyllium.

The psyllium will act like a sponge inside your horse’s digestive tract and remove unwanted toxins, sand as well as indigestible roughage which may settle or collect in your horse’s digestive tract.



  5)   Horse Laxative:

Giving your horse laxatives helps in the movement of fecal matter through the horse’s digestive tract.

These laxatives are sometimes effective in re-establishing normalized digestive function.

  6)   Horse Medications:

Your veterinarian can sometimes prescribe analgesic pain killers.

These help in relieving pain while the horse’s intestinal function returns to normal or alternately until further treatment is taken up.

  7)   Horse Colic Surgery:

The final treatment is surgery. Sometimes any blockage in your horse’s digestive tract necessitates surgery.

Contact your veterinarian to understand what surgery options you have.


Each case of horse colic is different, so the treatment plan also needs to be customized as per each individual horse.

It is essential to work in close co-ordination with your veterinarian to find the appropriate health plan for each horse you own.

Causes of Colic in Horses (How to Treat It?)

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