Australia’s #1 Horse Manure Collector | Proudly Australian Made | Buy Now Pay Later With Afterpay & Zip Pay | Open & Operating as Usual |x

What Causes Horse Colic? - And How To Manage It

All horses indiscriminate of the breed, age, and size have the potential develop a case of horse colic at some point or another in their life.

While there is no way to ensure it definitely will never happen to your horse, the best way to take steps to prevent it is to develop a strategic schedule of feeding and exercise - and understand what causes horse colic.

Management techniques can make or break a horse’s chances of successfully avoiding suspecting to colic.

What Is Horse Colic?

Colic is simply the term used to describe abdominal pain. In the equine body, colic is most usually caused by an issue in the gastrointestinal tract.

There are various different types of colic, but distention(gas), spasmodic(random, unexplainable), and impaction colic are some of the most regularly occurring types.

The understanding of the equine body, specifically the digestive and gastrointestinal tracts is essential applicable knowledge for any individual who wishes to work around and own horses.

The Equine Gastrointestinal Tract

The equine gastrointestinal tract is designed in quite a peculiar fashion; the small intestine is “free-floating” in the horse’s gut, which can allow the organ to become twisted.

The large intestine, because of its size, is folded a number of times in order to fit.

The folding and changes of direction, also known as flexures, have been known to be the cause of impactions. Impactions occur when the food traveling through the digestive system is too dry and becomes unable to move, therefore causing blockage as more food continues to come through the area.

Impactions can also occur when the path the digested food is traveling on becomes too narrow. This is known to happen commonly in the pelvic flexure.

The confusing and poor design of the equine digestive tract is one of the biggest factors in what causes horse colic.

It can prove itself to be a large obstacle for many horse owners in their quest to ensure their horses are in the best condition possible.

What Causes Horse Colic?

While the equine gastrointestinal tract has some features that make the horse more susceptible to colic, poor management practices can be just as dangerous to the horse’s health as its medical predisposition, if not more.

Some things that are known to be the leading causes of colic are:

Overfeeding

Not feeding enough

Irregular feeding schedule

High grain content diet

Low forage content

Moldy feed

Dehydration

Stress

While these are some examples of the most common factors that are known to cause colic, there are more.

It is important for all horse owners to be extremely conscious of their feeding methods, as well as the exercise program that they have designed for their horse.

Horse Colic Symptoms

There are many different types of horse colic symptom, and your horse may display just one, or several of them.

Here are the most common telltale signs of horse colic:

Rolling on the ground
Curling of the upper lip
Stretched stance with hind legs far behind
Increased sweating
Increased breathing rate
Low appetite
Extreme dullness
Extreme agitation
Bloodshot eyes/lips
Pawing/scratching the ground
Looking at the flank
Kicking or biting at the flank
Increased tail swishing
Repeatedly lying down and getting up again
Lying on their back
Violently throwing themselves to the ground

Working To Prevent Horse Colic With A Balanced Diet

Keeping all of this information in mind, it is important to communicate closely with your veterinarian in order to develop a personalized feeding plan and exercise schedule for your horse in order to take all the necessary precautions in the prevention of colic.

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet for your horse is the very first step in the upkeep of a regular digestive tract.

A horse’s diet should be comprised of mainly forage, meaning grass or hay.

Energy packed supplements should be avoided, as should large amounts of grain in the diet.

The horse should also be fed in smaller meals that are spread throughout the day to allow the food to move smoothly through the digestive tract before the next meal.

Because of the complicated nature of the guts of the horse, meals must be broken down into smaller segments to avoid blockage or impaction.

In addition to this, clean and fresh water should be available to the horse at all times.

Maintaining your horse’s hydration levels are essential in the prevention of colic and regulation of digestion, as dehydration has the potential to cause the digested food to become solid, which prevents it from moving smoothly through the digestive tract.

The Role of Exercise In The Prevention of Horse Colic

Daily turnout and exercise are also key factors in maintaining the health of the horse and avoiding colic and other gastrointestinal issues.

In this case, the old saying “a body in motion, stays in motion” is quite true.

Having a form of output for the energy obtained from their diet is a horse’s natural way of keeping their digestive tract regular.

In the wild, horses are able to remain constantly active, and therefore have no issues burning off the energy that they intake through their diet.

Horses in captivity only have the ability to exercise either during sessions with their rider or with other horses during their turnout. It is for this reason that it is important to design a plan for daily exercise and turnout for your horse.

Try to arrange to have your horse turned out for as long as possible when you know you will not be able to make it to the stable for a ride.

When you are able to ride, make sure that you design an exercise and practice regimen that will benefit your horse and assist them in balancing the amount of energy taken in through diet and the amount of energy burned off with exercise.

If you are unsure about what changes you can make that can benefit your horse and aid in the prevention of colic, speak to your veterinarian.

He or she will be able to help you develop both an exercise and diet plan that is custom tailored to your horse for the best results.

Colic is an unfortunate reality for many horse owners and can prove to be quite a frightening experience for all of those involved. While it can happen to any horse, it is important to ensure that you are taking all necessary precautions to help your horse avoid becoming susceptible to colic.

It certainly never hurts to be too cautious, especially when the health of your horse is concerned. Speak with your veterinarian to begin developing a custom diet and exercise plan that will help prevent colic to keep your horse healthy and happy.

To see more informative equestrian blogs and to learn more about our products here at Paddock Blade, check out our site!

 

 


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Genuine reviews from very happy people

Everything about this product is ideal for horse owners. I enjoy cleaning paddocks now because its the easiest job I can do, truly...put the Paddock Blade cable hook on the tow ball then drive, the manure, weeds,sticks,rocks,dirt,wire etc collects, it is virtually mulched up too.

Take off what is rubbish and using the side handles tip out the contents. I use mine as mulch or in the run off areas. Big Fan! Most worthwhile purchase I've made in some time, a game changer for my workload and environmentally (due to flies).

Tracey Boland- Mornington, Victoria

Just used my paddock blade for the first time today! With four horses to pick up after I was getting overwhelmed by the wheelbarrow and rake, especially in my paddock that has lots of lumpy tufty grass to try and pick the manure out of!

I towed it around behind our lawn mower and collected 3 blades full of manure. Was so happy and relieved to see it collecting the manure. It doesn’t pick it all up when going over such uneven & lumpy ground but the manure it leaves behind gets spread. I’m happy with that, the wheelbarrow was killing me in the end!!!!

Danielle Williamson - Winton, New Zealand

I have just purchased this amazing Paddock Blade. This is such a fantastic addition to our farm life. It is so easy to use and without any effort whatsoever. I rescue Livestock and it has allowed me an extra 3 hours to do other jobs around the place and has helped this aged girl to do this work without any pain.

I have cleaned up hay, rocks, branches after storms and the amount of manure that accumulates tenfold from my menagerie. I highly recommend, this Paddock Blade to everyone. I also love the fact that there is a follow up from the company, checking that all is ok from arrival to use. Awesome Paddock Blade Australia and Thankyou for making my life much easier now

Kim Chulong- Tamworth, New South Wales

I have always enjoyed having a clean paddock but found it hard on my back and body. After finding this product on Facebook I thought great this will save time and less pain. This system has given me a 15 minute paddock clean on a 5 acre property and has minimised my back and body pains which has now given me more time to spend with my family.

Matthew Davids, South Australia

LOVE our paddock blade, have used it twice now, OMG so much faster. We use it behind a can-am. I just lift it from the back from a squat position - ladies it's easy to do by yourself! It is really good at grabbing sticks and rocks as well, paddocks look gorgeous.

Vanessa Hamilton - Nanaango, Queensland

Just used our paddock blade for the first time today. WOW ... just love it. We have long kikuyu grass and even longer fire weed... the paddock blade did it easily ... it picked up 90% and what it didn’t pick up it spread.

We live on a small hill, all the paddocks have slope to them but the paddock blade couldn’t have cared less. We pulled it easily with the cub cadet Pro Z 100 Zero turn. So happy with this product. It does 100% of what it is advertised to do . Jake was great to deal with, the blade was delivered by TNT ...couldn’t be happier.

Caroline Hudson, Tiakitahuna, New Zealand

Our Paddock Blade was delivered to our door about a week ago.. shiny & red! My wife asked me if I could hook it up to our side by side ATV this morning so she could try it out.. so I did, both our dogs climbed in with her & off she went.. after a hour she came back huge smile on her face couldn’t get over how well the Paddock Blade worked.

Our paddocks aren’t all flat, quite undulating in areas but that made no difference to how the Paddock Blade worked.. even the doge were impressed as was I lol.. she had a ball picking up horse poo? Go figure.. we love it couldn’t recommend the product & the customer service we experienced during the purchase... don’t hold off wondering if it works, it does, extremely well, if you have horses, cows, deer, alpacas or just want to clean your paddocks up do yourself a favour get one! Thanx heaps guys!!

Greg Doodson - Christchurch, New Zealand

Ok horsey friends this is a absolute life saver I've been wanting a paddock blade for a while and I was lucky enough to get one for Christmas . I was worried it would work cause my paddocks are not flat quite bumpy.

But my gosh these are brilliant and worth every penny, photo below is two minutes worth and it comes in purple which is awesome. So if any of you are sick of picking up poop and want more time to ride get onto it get a paddock blade its a small company with amazing service you won't be disappointed.

Kelly Roussow- Hunter Valley, New South Wales

This product is simply amazing. I’d thought about getting one for a while but couldn’t justify the money, but boy was I wrong. I finally gave in and bought myself one and now I don’t know why I waited so long. I love, love, love it and actually get a little excited when I go out to clean the paddock, I know it’s only going to take me 1/2 an hour and I’ll be done. No more shovelling for 3 days and ending up with shovel blisters and a sore back.

I’m just sorry I didn’t get it sooner. PS. The before service, delivery time and after service are as amazing as their product. Thanks Paddock Blade for making my life and the time I get to spend with my horses and family so much better.

Tracy Stone - Walkers Point, Queensland

305/245 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3182

Call - 1300 218 212