Colic is one of the most common equine emergencies that we see in our practice. Most cases of colic can be managed medically however all cases of colic should be taken seriously. Colic refers to a painful problem in the horses abdomen (belly) but not all colic’s involve the digestive system. Signs of colic include: curling the upper lip, turning and watching the flank, kicking at the belly, pawing, lying down, rolling, anorexia, an elevated pulse, depression and reduced digestive sounds.
If your horse is showing signs of colic you should call your veterinarian right away. Even if signs are mild it is difficult to predict what is going on inside the horse by simply looking at the horse. Your veterinarian will likely come and check your horses gums, heart rate, respiratory rate, listen for gastrointestinal sounds and perform a rectal examination. They might also pass a nasogastric tube or perform an ultrasound.