Communicating colic

By Connie Orcutt • Published: May 1st, 2014
Category: Animal Airwaves

Colic isn’t a diagnosis — it’s a catchall phrase for abdominal pain. Horses have many ways of showing colic, some subtle and others quite dramatic.

Horses with mild colic may paw at the ground, stretch out or spend more time lying down. Some might look at their flanks or exhibit seemingly random behavior like playing in the water bucket. More subtle signs might be a decreased fecal production or appetite, or, shifting weight on the hind limbs or standing still against a wall.

Signs of worsening colic can include repeatedly lying down and standing, grunting, kicking at the belly, rolling or moving constantly. With severe colic, a horse may become very violent then extremely depressed.

You know your horse better than anyone. If your usually stoic stead is sending abnormal signs, convey them to your veterinarian as soon as possible.