AUTUMN 2020 BANNER
A A A

Coming into winter, we are starting to see an increase in impaction colic.

This is where food material blocks up the horse’s large intestine, stopping droppings passing through which can be very painful. Coming into winter, we are starting to see an increase in impaction colic.  This is where food material blocks up the horse’s large intestine, stopping droppings passing through which can be very painful. 

This is often caused by the change in routine when owners start stabling their horses in the colder months. The increase in dietary hay, coupled with less movement and less water intake means the gut contents become drier and as a consequence food moves more slowly along the intestine, eventually causing a blockage.

Signs of impaction colic are a reduction in droppings and the droppings that are produced are firm, dry and small. The horse may become dull and off its food and can show signs of colic such as pawing the ground, lying down and rolling.If you suspect impaction you should call us immediately.  We can diagnose this condition on a full physical exam, including a rectal exam.  If we discover an impaction then the most common treatment is to pass a tube into the horse’s stomach and ‘flush through’ plenty of water, electrolytes and sometimes liquid paraffin. This needs to be done 3-4 times daily and it can take several days for the impaction to soften and pass through.  We will also administer pain relief to keep the horse comfortable.

In very serious cases the horse may need to be referred for intravenous fluids or surgery but most will get better through treatment at home.

To lower the risk of this condition, owners can make sure the horse has plenty of fresh drinking water, dampening the feed, keeping the horse turned out as much as possible, good worm management, regular dental care, monitoring the amount and consistency of droppings passed and making sure the horse gets regular exercise.  Remember a sudden change from field to stable is the biggest risk for this condition.

If you suspect your horses hasImpaction Colic you must seek urgentveterinary assistance and seek yourown veterinary advice

www.swanspoolequine.com