Colic

Goya

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Asking on behalf of someone and they are consulting the vet but would be interested to hear if any of you have experienced a horse getting spasmodic colic on a regular basis.

Any ideas as to why this may be happening?
 

Mrs G

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My first horse was pts after having recurrent and increasingly frequent colic; he was subsequently (on post mortem) found to have ulcerated lesions in his intestines (aka hind gut ulcers). I wish your friend and their horse all the best x
 

Snow Falcon

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There was one a while back who's daughter's horse kept having colic episodes. I'll see if I can try and find the relevant threads/posts.
 

faerie666

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We have a horse at work who used to get mild to moderate spasmodic colic about every 3-4 weeks.
It turns out he had grade 3 stomach ulcers.
The ulcers were treated with Gastrogard and his management adjusted and he hasn't had colic since.
 

applecart14

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Asking on behalf of someone and they are consulting the vet but would be interested to hear if any of you have experienced a horse getting spasmodic colic on a regular basis.

Any ideas as to why this may be happening?
Hoping I don't get any nasty comments to this reply as its on vets advice but yes my horse used to get regular, gassy spasmodic colic to the point the vet said 'save yourself some money and have some bute from us and give your horse some in a feed, put on walker, put back in stable and if no better after this call us out'. I did this for years. Now I don't have access to a horse walker so I lunge him instead. The one time his colic was different to usual was when he had a colon displacement and it was very obvious almost right away that his colic was different as he was insistenly trying to roll. Fortunately it turned out okay but it did worry me at the time.

Bailey gets spasmodic colic from the gas in the grass and has a very sensitive stomach so i have to monitor him carefully and only allow him increased access i.e half a metre a day of a tiny strip. He can look like he's about to drop a foal when he is gassy but it drastically dissapears when he is worked. When he is gassy he can be lying down in his stable with head outstretched looking for all intents and purposes as if he is dying yet twenty minutes later after a canter and a fart on the lunge on his return to the stable will be stuffing his face with hay like its going out of fashion, ears pricked and happy and content. He's been this way for years. After all the exclusions were put on his policy for colic I was offered an exploratory procedure to try and find out what was wrong but figured that this would be worse for him than the occassion windy stomach for the element of risk of anaethetic and the price would be prohibitive out of insurance cover.

There was a suggestion at one point that he might have a redworm infestation but he was wormed and also worm counted twice now and nothing has ever shown up suggesting this could have been the cause. I have also read that ulcers can cause this but was told it was very unlikely that he would have ulcers (not sure what they based that assumption on).

I think like humans with dietary problems some horses can be very sensitive to the effects of grass.
 
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Goldenstar

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Applecart I am amazed that you where told your horse was unlikely have to ulcers they are extremely common in horses with spavins .
 

HufflyPuffly

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Friends horse went down with colic, originally thought due to a parasite burden but then diagnosed with ulcers. Ulcers have been treated and we're hopeful that they and the colic won’t return!

As an aside my oldie has also just been diagnosed with ulcers with very little symptoms and what should have been correct management for not having them. As she gets ad-lib forage, lots of turnout, no strenuous work (at 22 she’s retired from competition and is a happy hacker now), isn’t stressed and has a low starch/low sugar diet as she also has cushings. She still had them, and nasty grade 3 ones at that :(.

It’s worth ruling out anyway.

x x x
 

applecart14

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Applecart I am amazed that you where told your horse was unlikely have to ulcers they are extremely common in horses with spavins .
I've never heard this before but I'm not saying you are wrong Goldenstar. I assume that horses that are on drugs to control pain of spavin, i.e bute are more at risk of ulcers as are any horses with NSAIDs and maybe that's where your confusion lies.

The one vet from the practice thought he might have ulcers but the other vet (head vet) ruled it out on appearance alone. Since he's had his hocks fused his not had a problem with the spavin apart from stiffness for half a schools length typical of any 18 year old (he feels no pain in his hocks as the nerves are dead) and he doesn't exhibit typical signs of ulcers that you might expect to see i.e poor appetite, lack of condition, weight loss, teeth grinding, excess salivation, slow eating, dullness, poor performance. Although I do admit low grade colic is one of the symtoms. However he's had four spasmodic gassy colics in 14 months, three of which were since Oct last year so I doubt it.

I feel for the OP as it is worrying when your horse gets colic, and I always think the next one could be the 'biggy' and then it would be the end. I wouldn't put him through surgery even though the vet thinks it would be viable as he's otherwise fit and healthy and recovered well from injury, due to the box rest which would make him seize up.
 
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micramadam

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I had a mare who would colic every 3 - 4 days. She was hospitalised and after a colic operation, she was diagnosed with chronic active eosinophile colitis/typhlitis. Unfortunately the diagnosis came too late for her and she although she came out of the colic operation with no problems she died about 2 weeks later due to a rupture in her bowel from the disease. This was 9 weeks after it started. The same day the medicine arrived from America.
Its impossible to diagnose without an operation but is a severe inflammation of the bowel wall with places where the wall is 10 times thicker due to the infection than normal.
I very much doubt OP that your horse has this as it is extremely rare but if he/she is colicing as regularly as my Ruby was please contact Equine Science. They supplied the medicine that Ruby should have had. They should be able to help you in any case.
 
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