For horse owners, preparation for a case of severe colic can be a matter of life or death.
Preparation starts by being able to recognize signs of abdominal pain, such as rolling, pawing, lack of appetite, decreased manure production and changes from normal behavior. If you think your horse is colicking, the earlier you call your veterinarian, the better your horse’s chances of recovery.
Based on your horse’s level of pain, response to medications, and exam findings, your vet may recommend referral to an equine specialty center. In these situations, time is of the essence, so always make sure your truck and trailer are ready, and that you know where the nearest referral hospital is located.
As hospitalization could include medical management or surgery, and be difficult, both emotionally and financially, it’s smart to have a ‘colic plan’ when your horse is healthy so you can be well-prepared if disaster strikes.