One of the most common medical conditions equine veterinarians face is colic, or abdominal pain. But fortunately, most cases can be managed medically by addressing several key parameters.
Pain causes the tell-tale signs of colic: horses rolling, pawing at their sides or lying down. Many horse owners are familiar with the analgesic properties of phenylbutazone, or bute. But drugs like detomidine are usually more effective against abdominal pain.
Hydration is also critical, so veterinarians usually deliver fluids orally or intravenously to treat colic. They also look to increase intestinal motility with lubricants, stool softeners or laxatives.
Less commonly, some types of colic require surgical treatment. So, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if your horse appears colicky.