CAUSES AND PREVENTION OF COLIC IN HORSES

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Colic is a somewhat common medical occurrence in horses and is an important sign of possible colonic disturbance within your horse. For those who don’t know, although there are many different kinds, colic is basically abdominal pain experienced by horses when there are other gastrointestinal issues at play and often relates to colonic disturbance. Colic, however is more of a clinical symptom than a diagnosis and is most likely not the primary medical issue for the horse and can be a sign for larger problems. At iFEED, we want to make sure you are informed on the common causes and ways to prevent colic in your horse and/or stable. Some common causes of colic to look out for include, ingesting sand, overfeeding or irregular feeding, parasitism and worm infestations, bad or moldy food, ingestion of non-feed (stones, sticks, wood splinters), poisons (from bad, moldy feed etc.). Make sure to look out for these common causes of colic to ensure the health of your horse or horses.

Here at iFEED we understand the hardships of having a horse that has an illness, which is why we want to help you avoid colic and its common causes, which can lead to deeper problems as well as many other ailments. Here are some common signs that your horse may have colic: Elevated heart or respiratory rate, change in mucous membrane color, pawing, attention towards the abdomen or flank watching, repeatedly lying down and rising (violently when severe), rolling, sweating, change in activity level, change in feces, stretching or abnormal posturing, groaning, frequent attempts to urinate, excessive yawning, loss of appetite, poor coat, or weight loss. At iFEED we recommend that if you notice these common signs in your horse repeatedly or in combination be sure to pay close attention or seek medical attention.

Most importantly iFEED wants to help you prevent this type of ailment in your horse. Some methods of prevention include restricted access to simple carbohydrates, providing clean feed and drinking water, preventing ingestion of dirt or sand by using an elevated feeding surface, regular deworming, regular dental care, and regular diet without sudden changes in content or portions. When changing feed types make sure to slowly work the new feed into the old, to slowly transition your horses diet smoothly over about seven days. Another tip is to make sure your horse has forage or hay before it consumes grain, which is known as a common way to prevent colic. It is also recommended to allow your horse to graze for about 18 hours a day, as they would in the wild. Turnout is recommended for horses as outdoor life is more natural and healthy for horses in their daily lives.

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