EQUUS - - Special Report -

when think­ing about win­ter colic.

With that in mind, keep one eye on the fore­cast and be ex­tra vig­i­lant when a storm front is mov­ing in. If there is an in­creased risk of colic when the weather changes, you don’t want to pile on with other risk fac­tors. That means mak­ing sure your horse has wa­ter, for­age and some room to move around as soon as is fea­si­ble. Also, try to avoid mak­ing

A horse can de­velop any type of colic at any time of year, so don’t take a “wait and see” ap­proach if your horse is in dis­tress in the hopes that he has a small block­age that will get bet­ter on its own. When­ever your horse shows signs of colic in win­ter, call your vet­eri­nar­ian and let her know what’s go­ing on. She may head out im­me­di­ately, or—based on your de­scrip­tion of the signs— she may rec­om­mend some re­hy­dra­tion strate­gies and ask for an up­date in a few hours. What you don’t want to do is med­i­cate your horse be­fore con­sult­ing with your vet­eri­nar­ian. Non­s­teroidal an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory med­i­ca­tions can be very good at mask­ing the pain of even se­ri­ous col­ics. You may think you’ve man­aged a sim­ple im­paction suc­cess­fully when you are only de­lay­ing the di­ag­no­sis of a stran­gu­la­tion, which re­quires prompt treat­ment for the best out­come. changes to his rou­tine and man­age­ment when the weather changes. When the storm ar­rives, check your horses reg­u­larly and watch closely for signs of colic. A col­icky horse in win­ter may not be es­pe­cially sweaty, but be on the look­out for rest­less­ness, dry and/or scant ma­nure, ly­ing down more than usual and “flank gaz­ing” as he looks back at his painful sides.

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