Colic in babies may just be an ordinary occurrence for their
parents. After all, colic happens to almost everybody and
after getting used to the screaming and the shouting and the
crying, the illness will be as normal as eating and sleeping.
The same cannot be said of colic in horses. Yes. Horses
also get colicky. In fact, this is considered as a nightmare
for every horse-keeper because it can really become serious
when not attended immediately. For while some horses respond
to therapy and medical treatment, most will deteriorate even
after being treated by a veterinarian.
Like babies when they get colicky, horses will also be screaming
and crying. That will be all right if they do not add pacing
and stamping, which could not only endanger other people who
go near them but also themselves. Horses risk serious injury
when they are at this kind of situation. Because of the pain,
they do not know what they are doing, short of destroying
the whole barn if they can.
Colic is actually very common. In fact, every horse-lover,
horse breeder and horse rider will have come across the term
one way or the other. References would have been made in various
equine books and digests. Colic is considered as an equine
emergency because of the way horses react to the problem due
to a painful abdomen. They can really get wild.
There are several types of colic in horses. The first one
is the spasmodic colic or that which arises from excessive
gas. This is the less severe type. The other one is the obstructive
colic, which is often caused by obstructions in some parts
of their body. This may be in the form of displacements or
twists in their muscles.
It can also be caused by impactions in the intestines or
in the large colons. Often, this will require treatment, either
with oil and a medicine or in other more severe cases, fluid
therapy. Another type of colic is caused by overeating while
another type is caused by worms.
What can happen? As mentioned above, colic in horses can
get really serious. This is because they are not structured
the way humans are. They are not also "wired" the way we are;
so there are things that we can do that they cannot. Here
are some of them.
Building it up Since horses cannot cope with the pressure
in their stomach. Unlike humans, they cannot vomit. The pressure
will then be bottled up inside and build up as time pass.
This will cause distention, which will require decompression.
Anatomically impossible Horses are built with small anatomical
parts. There are narrow areas in their bodies , particularly
in the digestive systems that can cause impactions and obstructions.
Backward movements The processes in their digestive systems
also have these backward movements, which can exacerbate the
condition when an impaction occurs.
Blood thirsty The road where their blood travels through
is so long and narrow that impactions can occur. It also has
a lot of twists and turns that it is not surprising that they
are susceptible to obstructions. When this happens, the horse
can die because blood flow will stop and supply of oxygen
to the heart will cease.
Worm-sensitive Horses are very sensitive to the bacteria that
come into their bodies especially those that go into their intestines.
The bacteria balance in their bodies is so sensitive that a
change in their food or in the supplements that they take in
can cause disruptions.
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