Five tips to prevent colic

Horse Health 101: Five Tips To Prevent Colic

Five Tips To Prevent Colic That Every Horse Owner Should Know

Colic is the leading medical cause of death in horses and a constant concern for horse owners. Colic is abdominal pain, most commonly in the gastrointestinal tract. Unfortunately, due to horses’ anatomy, they are prone to colic that could potentially become severe. While colic can be unpredictable, there are steps that every horse owner can take to help prevent colic from happening. Here are five tips to prevent colic that every horse owner should know.

**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV. These tips are based on extensive research from reliable research based sources. If your horse shows symptoms of discomfort or believes they may be suffering from colic, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Tip One: Avoid Feeding Hay On The Ground

The first of these five tips to prevent colic is easy to fix to lower your horse’s risk. Avoid feeding hay on the ground – especially in dusty or sandy areas. When horses eat hay directly from the ground, dust and dirt gets mixed in and consumed. Too much sand or dust intake can irritate a horse’s gut and potentially lead to impaction. Instead of feeding hay directly on the ground, use tubs or feed racks. You can also place rubber mats on the floor to prevent hay from getting mixed with dust and dirt.

Tip Two: Encourage Daily Movement

The second of these five tips to prevent colic is to keep your horse moving. Multiple research studies on the predisposing factors of colic show that horses that stand in a stall most of the day are at much higher risk for abdominal diseases than horses that live in turnout situations. Consider turning out your stalled horse for part or all of the day to encourage movement and lower colic risk.

Tip Three: Keep Your Horse Hydrated

This tip is straight forward. We all know the importance of keeping ourselves and our horses hydrated. Whether it is the cold winter or hot summer, hydration is always crucial. to keep your horse as healthy as possible.

Tip Four: Reduce Stress

Have you ever had an important assignment due or a big meeting, and your stomach starts to get upset because of the stress? Your horse goes through these same stress reactions as humans do. Constant trailering and moving around to multiple places puts physical and emotional stress on your horse. Intense training and workouts can also add stress to your horse. Make sure you are monitoring your horse’s stress levels and giving him breaks between traveling.

Tip Five: Consult With Your Vet For The Best Feed Regimen For Your Horse

Every horse has unique health needs to promote healthy function. The amount of forage, grain, and supplements that your horse needs is different than what other horses may need. For best results consult with your vet on what is best for your horse based on age, health conditions, exercise level, and other factors.

Thanks for reading and I hope these tips can help you help your horse. Please remember that if your horse is experiencing colic symptoms or doesn’t seem himself to contact your vet immediately.

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