Colic: is severe abdominal pain and the symptom of digestive tract, liver or kidney disease.
All equestrians are well aware of the major health concern Colic poses to our close companions. Colic is the number one cause of a premature death and while most can be treated the best approach to dealing with Colic is prevention. There are many variations of the condition caused by a range of factors due to the complex nature of the equine digestive tract, but these 10 techniques will greatly help reduce the risk of Colic occurring in your beloved horse.
- Routine: Maintain a regular schedule of feeds and exercise. Exercise/turnout should aim to be achieved daily.
- Diet: should consist primarily of high-quality mould free hay and avoid 100% alfalfa hay. Split grain and supplement feed into smaller portions more often rather than one large portion less often.
- Parasite control: Have regular check ups.
- Water: simple but effective. Ensure fresh, clean and cool water is always readily available.
- Medication: Anti-inflammatory and pain relief drugs can cause stomach ulcers just as they do in humans. Limit their use and always to be taken with food.
- Sand: Avoid consumption of sand from feeding off the ground, use buckets or mats where possible.
- Stress: Always observe your horse closely and their food consumption after particularly stressful incidents such as changes in their environment or heavy workload.
- Toxins: Weeds, pests and indigestible matter such as bailing twine, inspect your horse's environment regularly and remove these objects.
- Foaling: Pay close attention to mares while foaling as they are at risk.
- Observation: Last but not least, pay close attention to the behaviour of your horse and watch for signs of Colic. Like most diseases, catching it early will significantly increase the effectiveness of treatment.