What Is Colic In Horses?

Question

Looking for a definition of what colic is in horses for a research project. It seems many have differing definitions. Appreciate any vets commmenting.

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Answer ( 1 )

  1. Colic in a horse is a general term used to describe abdominal pain. It is most often caused by an impaction, which usually goes away on its own without treatment. The symptoms include colic (belly pain) and distension; later symptoms of dehydration may also appear.

    The cause of colic is generally unknown, though horses with gastrointestinal diseases are more at risk for developing the condition than healthy horses. Once the problem arises, small intestinal obstruction or ileus (paralysis of intestine), among others, can cause it to persist if not treated; belly surgery may also be necessary due to serious complication like rupture of bowel.

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