Q: What can you do for a colicking horse other than walk him around while you’re waiting for the vet to arrive? We live in a remote area where a vet can’t get to us quickly.
Asked by Jackie K
A: You can do the following for a colicking horse while waiting for the vet:
- Withhold access to feed, as food can exacerbate the problem.
- Withhold water – if the stomach is distended, allowing access to water can lead to stomach rupture.
- Don’t medicate without your veterinarian’s approval, because some pain medications can mask clinical signs, thus making it difficult for your vet to make an accurate diagnosis.
- Make sure that when you are not walking your horse, he is in a safe stable, from which any hazardous objects have been removed.
- Check your horse’s vital signs, such as temperature and heart rate and keep your vet informed of these values.
- Start preparing a horsebox incase your horse has to be transported to the clinic.
Answered by Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital