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    Early Signs of Colic in Horses

    If you have a horse, you’re likely familiar with the term colic. Colic is one of the most common, and most dangerous, ailments that horses can develop. As you may know, there are several types of colic, and none of them are good news to a horse owner. (Note: the term ‘colic’ doesn’t just describe one specific problem: it can be used to define any gastrointestinal issue, as well as other types of abdominal pain.) However, while colic can often be successfully treated, it should always be considered a severe medical emergency, as it can prove fatal. Therefore, it’s very important for you to know what to look for. A Volga, SD vet lists some early symptoms in this article.

    Change in Water Consumption

    Dehydration can be very dangerous in horses. Monitor your horse’s water intake, and make sure he is drinking enough. (Tip: adding a little organic apple juice to the water can help you get your equine buddy to drink more.)


    Sweating can be a symptom of colic. While it’s normal for horses to sweat during exercise, if Silver is sweating excessively or at unusual times, he could be developing colic.


    Small, dry dropping can be an indication that Silver’s digestive system isn’t working properly. Decreases in the amount of manure your horse produces is also a warning sign, as is undigested grain in your horse’s droppings.


    If Silver is standing in a stiff or unusual position, or doesn’t want to move, he may have colic. Foals sometimes lie on their backs with their hooves tucked in when they have colic.


    Horses that are developing colic are often very restless. Silver may paw at the ground, pace, or nip or kick at his flanks. He may also look at his stomach, and try to roll or lie down.

    Reduced Appetite

    A lack of appetite is always a red flag in our hooved friends. Healthy horses have healthy appetites! Silver should be very, very interested in his supper, and should perk up if he suspects you have a carrot, apple, peppermint, or sugar cube for him.


    Anxiety, uneasiness, and crankiness are also symptoms of colic. Uncharacteristic behavior, such as aggression from a usually sweet horse, is another warning sign.

    Please contact us, your Volga, SD animal hospital, for all your horse’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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