When To Call the Vet: Colic

Colic | Dr. Corey Paradine | Big Dee's

We are very pleased to bring to our readers a blog series from Dr. Corey Paradine, a local veterinarian here in northeast Ohio. Over the next few months, she will touch upon some important equine health issues and is here to provide you with some general advice on how to keep your horse(s) healthy. If there is a specific topic you would like her to discuss, you can email it to me, jena@bigdweb.com, and I will pass your ideas along to Dr. Corey OR you can place it in the comment section of this blog.

At some point or another, every horse person will have the unfortunate run in with a colic case. If you haven’t already had a horse come down with colic, then this blog provides expert advise on what you should look for and how to help your horse through it. Here is Dr. Paradine’s blog on “When To Call the Vet: Colic.”

When to call the vet: Colic

Colic is the most common emergency call veterinarians get.  The definition of colic is abdominal pain, which can arise from any organ in the abdomen including liver, kidneys, the reproductive tract, etc. Most often from the gastrointestinal tract.


Symptoms of colic range from “just not right” to pawing, looking at their abdomen, lying down, and when severe, rolling and thrashing.

When to call:

Recommendations of when to call can vary depending on the owner.  Even if the colic is mild a phone call to your veterinarian is always a good idea for guidance and to give the veterinarian a heads up that you may need them.  Certainly more severe colics warrant a vet visit.

What you can do:

Many horse owners are familiar with colic and may try and treat a mild colic on their own by withholding feed and walking the horse.  Any medications such as Banamine or anti-ulcer drugs should be given only after consulting with your veterinarian.  Walking the horse is often recommended to keep the horse from rolling. If the horse is so painful that it is thrashing it can be a danger to anyone attempting to handle the horse. Further intervention should then wait until veterinary assistance has arrived.

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