Horse Colic and How to Handle It

*Please know these are GUIDELINES for general knowledge. We are aware that different situations call for different actions. At Excel Supplements, we always advise that you ask your vet and abide by their instruction. The health of the horse comes first!*

Colic is defined as abdominal pain in the horse. Colic in horses can happen for seemingly no reason at all sometimes. It can be scary but it is important to remember that the survival rate of colic is 68%. That said, it is vital to know early indicators of colic in order to catch colic as early as possible. Here are the main tips to find out what to do if your horse colics! 

1. Evaluate to See if Your Horse is Experiencing Colic

Common Symptoms of Colic in Horses

  • High temperatures and heart rate.
  • Tightness throughout stomach and rump muscles.
  • No signs of new manure in the stall.
  • Pawing, rolling, thrashing, showing any discomfort.
  • Not eating or drinking.
  • Lethargic.

2. Administer Banamine (with Vet Approval)

Even though the vet is on the way, cases of colic in horses can go from minimal to serve in minutes. If approved by your veterinarian, it is standard to administer a dose of Banamine to help relieve pain and to reduce any active fever. This is meant to ease any discomfort your horse may be feeling. It will take 1-2 hours to see the effects of a controlled/reduced fever and pain relief.

What is Banamine?

Banamine is a top brand of flunixin meglumine, which is the leading NSAID (anti-inflammatory drug) approved for horses in the United States. It is used for protection from septic/endotoxic shock due to gastrointestinal issues. Banamine orally or intravenously.

*It is important to not administer any medication via intravenous injection without veterinary approval.

What to do if your horse has colic
It is important to stay aware of your horses stall mannerisms so when you know what their norm is when suspecting they may be colicing.

3. Keep Checking Your Horse’s Temperature.

When addressing colic in horses is important to have all your baseline information for when the vet arrives. Because this is such a time-sensitive matter, you should know the horse’s normal range of temperature. In addition to this, also take the horse’s temperature every 30 minutes from when you start seeing symptoms to when the vet comes. 

Again, Banamine (flunixin meglumine) is an anti-inflammatory that can help suppress a fever within 1-2 hours after administration (depending on the way of administration). 

4. Be Patient and Wait For Your Vet to Arrive! 

While you are waiting for your vet there are a few things you can do to prepare in case of an emergency.

  • Walk your horse– in most cases, movement is the best thing for your horse at this moment. It is a general fear that if a horse is sick and left to their own devices, they will roll or thrash around their stall, with the hopes they can relieve some pain. Be sure to keep them standing and calm until your vet comes. 
  • Withhold access to water- Unless otherwise instructed by your vet, do not let your horse have any water or food while they are showing symptoms of colic. Wait for your vet to arrive and follow any specific directions they have given you closely. 
  • Keep your horse in a safe area– During an emergency, this isn’t the time to walk them around the entire property border. Be sure to keep them moving or stabled in a clean, small area in case of emergency. 
  • Prepare your trailer or a ride– even though colic can clear on its own, make sure to prepare yourself to leave if the horse needs to be rushed to an emergency clinic. 



It is important to know that nothing can get rid of the risk of colic. This is because a variety of factors can cause colic. However, overall gut health will greatly aid the prevention of abdominal pain cases when considering the GI. Supplements such as Excel Pro Elite can promote gut health for horses and reduce the risk of colic (abdominal pain). 

Pro Elite Helps With Colic


  • The Horse 
  • AVS

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