How to Handle Horse Colic
*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 can happen for seemingly no reason at all sometimes. It is important 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 Colicking.
- Take rectal temperature and heart rate.
- Check their hooves for heat and rump muscles for tightness. These may reflect laminitis or tying-up, respectively, which can mimic colic/abdominal pain.
- Call your Veterinarian, regardless of the severity or missed symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Colic in Horses
- High temperatures and heart rate.
- Tightness throughout stomach and rump muscles.
- No signs of new manure in stall.
- Pawing, rolling, thrashing, showing any discomfort.
- Not eating or drinking.
2. Administer Banamine (with Vet Approval)
What is Banamine?
Banamine is a top brand of flunixin meglumine, that 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 intravenous.
*It is important to not administer any medication via intravenous injection without veterinary approval.
3. Keep Checking Your Horse’s Temperature.
It is important to have all your base line information for when the vet arrives. Because this is such a time sensitive matter, you should know the horses normal range of temperature. In addition to this, also take the horses temperature every 30 minutes from when you start seeing symptoms to when the vet comes.
Again, Banamnine (flunixin meglumine) is an anti-inflammatory that can help suppress a fever within 1-2 hours after administration (depending on 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 incase 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 boarder. Be sure to keep them moving or stabled in a clean, small area incase 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.