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10 Signs of Colic

As a livery and training Yard Owner and Manager, I've seen my fair share of horses struggling with a bout of colic. There are those that show the classic symptoms and others that don't, those that look pretty serious and turn out to be mild and others the opposite.

As horse owners, our job is to spot anything out of the ordinary and make quick decisions to ensure our horses are monitored and made comfortable by vets as soon as possible. Though some mild colic cases will pass on their own with a little in-hand walking and a bran-mash, it's always my view that you're far better calling for a vet before you think it's 'a vet case' rather than waiting to see if things will subside on their own. Colic can be extremely painful and distressing for your horse, and of course become life-threatening very quickly, so the sooner you call the vet the better.

Here's a list of some of the potential signs of colic (it is worth noting that any of these symptoms can be attributed to other conditions but veterinary attention is always recommended)....

1. Irregular eating and/or drinking (this is why I turn off my automatic drinkers and use buckets instead)

2. Unusual Dung or Urination (more or less than usual, different colour or consistency)

3. Sweating/High Temperature

4. High Respiration Rate

5. Drooling


7. Kicking up at stomach

8. Unusual Stretching (like they were trying to pee)

9. Persistent rolling (or getting down to roll but then getting back up again)

10. Elevated Pulse

It can be really scary seeing your horse in discomfort but it's best to remain as calm as possible, call your vet and do all you can to keep your horse up and walking until they arrive.

I'd love to hear your stories of dealing with colic, what worked, what didn't, did you see other symptoms not listed above?

Karen xx

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