How To Treat A Horse With Colic

How To Treat A Horse With Colic


Horse owners find their horses in a state of colic and often do not know what to do. It’s important to know how to treat a horse with colic until the vet arrives so that you can avoid any serious issues. If you find your horse suffering from colic, follow these steps:

Confirm Colic

One of the most important things you can do to help a colicky horse is to correctly identify whether or not it’s colic. You can usually tell if your horse has colic by the following signs:

  • A horse that seems uncomfortable, may walk around in circles, or move its tail in an unnatural way.
  • The horse may paw at its stomach area, resist being saddled and tacked up, try to bite you when you handle their abdomen, emit loud grunts and whines.

Call A Vet Immediately

If your horse is showing any signs of colic, call a vet immediately. Don’t try to wait it out, and don’t leave the animal alone until a vet arrives. It’s important to contact an equine veterinarian as soon as possible because colic can be very painful for your horse and can become fatal in some cases if left untreated.

Provide Plenty Of Fluids

  • Water is the best thing to give your horse, as he may be losing fluids through diarrhea or sweating.
  • How much water you give will depend on the horse and how dehydrated he is. If his stomach is empty and his mouth is dry, do not force him to drink.
  • You can give water via an oral syringe if you need to get it into him by mouth.

Walk The Horse Around

If a horse is experiencing colic, the best way to help them get relief is by walking around. Not just any old walk will do, though. You want to make sure you’re doing a good job at getting things moving through the digestive tract. To do so, it’s important that you know how many steps per second are needed for each type of movement:

  • Walk around in circles at one-quarter of your horse’s top speed. If your average round pen has 12 panels (and it should), this translates into roughly 5 feet per second—a brisk pace for most horses!
  • Walk around in figure eights at half your horse’s top speed. This can be anywhere from 6-8 feet per second depending on yours and your mount’s abilities!
  • Lastly, if all else fails and the situation continues deteriorating past this point, consider walking around inside an enclosed square or rectangle (or even pentagon). These shapes will ensure that no matter which way they turn their heads they’ll still be able to see everything clearly without needing much more than two hoof strides worth of distance between each corner/corner pair!

Monitor Horse`s Vitals

Here are some helpful tips for monitoring your horse’s vitals:

  • A horse’s temperature should be taken by a veterinarian or experienced handler. The normal temperature range for a horse is between 99.9°F and 100.4°F (37.6°C to 38°C).
  • You can monitor your horse’s pulse at any time, but it’s especially important to do so during colic episodes because you may want to call in an equine veterinarian if you notice any irregularities. A normal resting heart rate ranges from 40–50 beats per minute (bpm) and increases during exercise or stress; however, too much variation may indicate something wrong with the heart itself or other internal organs such as lungs or kidneys—all of which could cause colic symptoms like weakness, feverishness/bloating, diarrhea and abdominal discomfort

Colic is a serious condition and should be treated immediately by a qualified veterinarian.

Colic is a serious condition that can be fatal, especially if left untreated. It can be caused by a number of things, including a blockage or physical obstruction in the horse’s digestive tract. If you suspect your horse has colic, call a qualified veterinarian immediately.


Horse owners should be aware of the signs that their horse might have colic. A horse that is displaying certain signs, such as rolling and pawing at the ground or lying down, may have colic. Horse owners who suspect their horse has colic should immediately call a veterinarian for treatment. The vet will examine the horse and decide on appropriate treatment options for the condition.

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