News and Notes
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Come visit our table at the Colorado State University Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale April 19-20, 2019 - CSU Horse Sale
Signs and Prevention of Colic
Dr. Michael Gotchey – Steamboat Veterinary Hospital
Colic is an important topic this time of year. We see a higher rate spring and fall as the seasons change. Colic is not a disease, but rather a combination of signs that alert us to abdominal pain in the horse. This can be anything from gas to “twisted gut”. Colic can be mild to life threatening. Recognizing the signs increase the chance for recovery and enables a veterinarian to help quickly. Look for increases or excessive: pawing, yawning, biting at stomach, rolling, stretching, and/or sweating while at rest
Some horses may be predisposed to colic, but management plays a key role in prevention. Here are 10 tips from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to reduce the risk of colic:
1. Establish a daily routine – including feeding and exercise – and stick to it.
2. Feed a high-quality diet comprised primarily of roughage.
3. Avoid feeding excessive grain and energy-dense supplements
4. Hay is best fed free-choice while concentrates are best fed in two or more small daily feedings.
5. Set up a routine parasite control program with your veterinarian
6. Provide daily exercise and change the intensity and duration of the regimen gradually
7. Provide fresh, clean water at all times.
8. Avoid putting feed on the ground, especially in sandy soils
9. Check hay, bedding, pasture and environment for toxic substances such as noxious weeds, blister beetles, and other edible items
10. Reduce stress - pay special attention when increasing workloads, changing environments, or transporting horses
For more information, talk to your veterinarian. Visit the AAEP’s website at www.aaep.org
Dr. Michael Gotchey is a veterinarian at Steamboat Veterinary Hospital where he practices small and large animal medicine, surgery, and alternative care. He has been a veterinarian since 1985 specializing in equine veterinary services.
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