If you have a horse, you’re more than likely familiar with colic. Colic is one of the most common and the most deadly diseases that can afflict our equine friends. While there are no foolproof ways to guarantee your horse won’t colic, there are ways to reduce the risk. A Wichita, KS vet lists some key ones below.
Keeping Silver properly hydrated is critical. Keep in mind that horses can be picky about water. Some don’t like cold water, while others prefer buckets over waterers. In winter, make sure your hooved pal’s water is ice-free. You may want to add hot water or insulate your buckets.
Silver may be comfy and cozy in his stall, but too much inactivity is just as bad for him as it is for us. Horses are, by nature, always on the move. Make sure your horse is getting enough exercise and turnout time.
Do you have a lot of sand on your soil? Use hay nets or racks for feeding, and use mats below them, so Silver can nibble on scraps without ingesting sand. It’s worth noting that pellets and sweet feed can increase the risk of colic. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.
Dental issues and parasites both increase the risk of colic. Dental issues make it hard for horses to chew properly, which can then of course impact their digestion. Parasites can also play a role. Stay on top of deworming Silver, and have his teeth checked and, if needed, floated regularly.
Know High Risk Times
The risk of colic increases at certain times, such as after strenuous exercise and/or travel, and during major changes and dietary adjustments. Horses that have colicked before are also at increased risk.
Knowing what to look for is crucial. The sooner colic is discovered, the better. And while every case is different, there are some things to watch for. Silver may nip at his flanks, roll around, vocalize in an unusual way, look at his side, or pace. You may notice undigested grain in his manure, less manure, or mucus-covered manure. Other red flags include elevated heart rate, tacky or discolored gums, sweating, and general restlessness. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these things.
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