Important Facts About Colic in Horses


If you’ve spent any amount of time near horses, you’ve probably heard the term “colic” come up at lease once or twice. Colic is a general term that can apply to a wide variety of gastrointestional upset symptoms in horses. Although stomach discomfort is not a big deal for most other animals (including humans), horses can suffer extensively or even die from colic complications

Veterinary treatment for colic episodes can cost thousands of dollars. Severe cases can cost as much as $15,000 to treat. Depending on the insurance coverages you purchase, Horse Medical Insurance may cover some or all of the costs to treat this complicated condition. Keep reading for common causes of equine colic and how this complication can possibly be prevented.

Sudden Diet Changes

Horses don’t handle diet changes well. In fact, they have the least effective and evolved digestive system in the entire animal kingdom. Perhaps unsurprisingly, abrupt feed changes are a common cause of colic issues. If your horse needs to be switched to a different type of feed, be sure to do so very gradually, taking care to mix old feed in with the new until the transition is complete.

Dental Issues

Yes, horses need to see the dentist. If a horse’s tooth is sharp or missing, their ability to chew and digest food becomes impared. Regular visits from the dentist can keep your horse chewing and digesting properly.

Improper or Irregular Deworming

Since they are grazing animals, horses require regular deworming treatments to keep stomach parasites at bay. If too many worms accumulate and are eliminated at once, they can cause intestinal blockages and severe pain for the horse. Regular deworming at the proper dose can help to keep parasites out of the digestive tract and prevent colic.

While not all cases of equine colic can be prevented, there are several things horse owners can do to help decrease the risk of its occurrence. Slow diet transitions, proper dental care and regular worming routines can all help to keep a horse healthy.

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