Measures to prevent colic
My pony/horse is very susceptible to colic. What measures can I take to prevent colic?
Colic is a collective name for pains in the abdomen. Blockage, gas build-up or change of position can occur at various places along a horse’s gastrointestinal tract, and the consequence of this is colic.
Horses that are kept during the day in a paddock or on an arid meadow get bored or are hungry. Colic can also be caused by unintentionally ingesting of too much dirt or feed that’s too rich in fibre. For example, there are horses that can’t pass up any blades of straw in the stable. Therefore, too much straw can also cause blockage or even a serious worm infection.
In adult horses, a twist in the intestine between the blind intestine and rectum is usually the most prevalent type of colic. A twist in the intestine can be caused by gas in the intestine. If the horse eats too much, the contents in the intestine can ferment.
Horses that ingest too much sand also run a high risk of colic. To check whether a horse has too much sand in the intestine, collect six dung balls from the middle of a dung pile and throw these into a bucket of water. Stir this well and let it stand for a day. The sand will sink to the bottom. More than a teaspoon of sand is an abnormal quantity.
In the spring there is a significant rise in the number of colic horses. The intestines can have a fierce reaction to the sudden transition to young spring grass. Too much concentrate can also lead to colic problems because the gastrointestinal tract in not prepared for digesting a large amount of concentrates.
Prevent colic rules:
- Feed roughage in a paddock in the Hartog feed box
- Don’t give your horse too much concentrate, but replace a part of concentrate with Lucerne-mix, Lucerne-mix stimulates digestion, which prevents colic
- Let your horse get used to a new ration slowly. In spring let your horse gradually get used to going out to pasture. The transition to another type of concentrate also has to be done tactfully. Within 7 to 10 days move to a new ration.