Colic is undoubtedly a word that gives horse owners night- mares. At face value, colic is the medical term for a simple condition: abdominal pain. For horses, the term “colic” is typically used to specifically refer to a physical ailment in the intestinal tract that is causing pain and hampering the movement of feed through the gut. Given that definition, it’s understandable that there could be different causes of colic. Considering the size and
complicated anatomy of a horse’s digestive tract, it’s probably no surprise that
there are various ways in which a horse’s gut can get into trouble.
Impaction colic could be described as a really bad case of constipation. In
basic terms, an impaction colic occurs when a large amount of feed becomes
Become familiar with the different types of colic.
BY ANNA O’BRIEN, DVM
Avoid Colic Confusion
stuck—or impacted—somewhere in
the intestines of the horse.
This quickly becomes a serious
problem because horses are grazing animals. Continually consuming roughage
means there is a need for continuous
movement of the digestive tract. If a
blockage occurs, a traffic jam results.
The intestine begins to stretch
and cause pain, which results in the
clinical signs of colic we are familiar
with, such as rolling or looking at the
abdomen, playing in water without
drinking, kicking at the stomach, ANASTASI