Colic is a nightmare for any horse owner. The dreaded condition is life-threatening to horses, and it can occur unexpectedly. However, the British Horse Society has put together a great video which provides an overview of colic and the actions you should take to help your horse.
This video highlights the importance of acting quickly when a horse colics. Often, a horse's survival may depend on how soon the colic episode is discovered. If you are able to take action early on in a colic episode, you can sometimes prevent it from getting worse. Taking your horse's vital signs is an important starting point, and communicating with your vet is essential.
Your vet can advise you about the severity of a colic episode, and can inform you about the various treatment options available. The goal with all colic episodes is to treat and resolve them without requiring surgery. However, surgery is available as a last resort option, though it can be financially prohibitive for some owners.
According to TheHorse.com, vets use any number of strategies to treat and relieve colic episodes. Your vet will take steps to relieve your horse's pain by administering pain medications. He or she will sometimes give a horse a laxative to help get his digestive system moving again. These laxatives include mineral oil and sometimes Epsom salt.
Vets also sometimes administer fluids to help keep the horse hydrated and reduce the recurrence of an impaction colic. Your vet will help you to monitor your horse as the colic episode resolves, and will provide you with instructions on how to begin feeding the horse again.
Colic is frightening, but knowing the right actions to take can increase your horse's chances of survival if he ever does colic.