Horses and ponies suffering from severe forms of Colic can die if not diagnosed or assessed early.
Colic is the abdominal or gastro-intestinal pain experienced by horse which must be assessed on the level of severity by a professional. It is important that those who own horses and ponies are able to recognise any signs or symptoms of the condition.
These symptoms may be as subtle as the striking of their stomach with their hind leg to the extreme of lying down, stretching and rolling over in an attempt to settle the pain. In severe cases they may try to relieve themselves by urinating to pass something on. Ponies may paw at the ground, feel hot on their neck and may get restless at feeding time.
“Tony Pony, my three year old Shetland, suffered from an extreme case of Colic, I noticed him acting strange one afternoon, trying to kick his stomach and pawing at the ground,” said Josh Buranski, owner of a three year old Miniature Shetland pony.
Colic is a leading cause of premature death; do not hesitate to call your veterinarian as it may get severe, quickly. When treating Colic, following a call to the vet, it is important to walk the horse and avoid any use of medication before its condition is assessed. In extreme cases, surgical intervention may be necessary.
“Tony found it difficult to do the simplest of things, like eating and walk. His condition escalated quickly,” said Josh Buranski.
There are a range of forms of Colic in horses that vary in severity, with many cases. The case may be as simple as not being wormed or having bad teeth, a build p of gas or an ulcer. Severe cases may be caused by the displacement of the colon, the result of a circulatory problem or the disruption of the nutrient flow through the pony’s gastro-intestinal tract.
Equine veterinarian Dr. Steve Allday owns a website with further information on the health and welfare of horses and ponies. Here he concludes that the best to prevent Colic in horses and ponies is by “maintaining good diet and plenty of water.”