Global Herbs: Types of Equine Colic

ColicEquine colic literally translates to ‘pain in the abdomen’ but it is generally used to refer to digestive system disorders among horses. According to Global Herbs, colic is one of the most common problems faced by the said animals then and up to today and there are many types to it as follows.

  • Displacement Colic 

Here, the intestine is suspended in the abdominal cavity by the mesentery, a fold of the peritoneum that attaches the intestine to the posterior wall of the abdomen. This makes it fall out of place causing it to be twisted thus restricting blood flow. It comes with pain too and is often brought about by a gas build up in the gut. This type needs immediate medical attention, surgical to be specific.

  • Impaction Colic

In this case, the large intestine changes direction and folds upon itself. There are cases where the size and diameter of it changes too. This allows for firm masses of feeds and other foreign material like sand to block away the intestines. Common causes of impact colic include ingestion of sand in large quantities, coarse and severely dry feeds as well as dehydration.

  • Enteritis 

This type is an inflammation of the intestines and is particularly hard to diagnose. There are instances when it even mistaken for displacement colic or impaction colic. What brings it about is a bacterial infection, contaminated water, food and roughage as well as excessive ingestion of grains.

  • Gas Colic 

As the name suggests, it refers to an excessive gas build up in the horse’s stomach and intestines causing minor to severe abdominal pain. The excess gas is produced by bacteria and is brought about by several factors such as stale feeds. To cure it, a veterinarian shall insert a tube into the stomach to relieve the pressure from the accumulation of gas and fluid.

  • Spasmodic Colic 

To humans, this is akin to indigestion and comes with painful contractions of the muscles in the small and large intestines. Of the types listed in this list, this is the most easily and quickly treated.

  • Stomach Distention 

Many would agree, including Global Herbs, that horses aren’t very blessed when it comes to their digestive system. Much care must be practiced to ensure that their feed ingestion is appropriate, timely and enough. Their stomachs have a very little capacity and when overfed may cause it to enlarge and worse rupture.