Common Warning Signs of Colic in Horses

Common Warning Signs of Colic in Horses

If you’re a horse owner, you’re likely familiar with the term colic. In fact, if there is one word that can strike fear into the heart of a horse person, that may very well be the one! Colic is one of the most common, and one of the most dangerous, medical problems that our equine friends can face. It’s very important to keep a close eye out for any possible symptoms of colic, so that if your horse does develop colic, it can be caught and treated early on. In this article, a local Park County, CO vet lists some common symptoms of colic in horses.

Lack Of Appetite

If there’s one thing that should always capture a horse’s interest, it’s food. In fact, our equine friends are rather like giant vacuum cleaners on hooves, sucking up anything and everything edible in their vicinity. Any time a horse loses his or her appetite, it’s a red flag.

Reduced Water Consumption

Keep a close eye on Silver’s water consumption, and make sure he’s getting enough water. In winter, you may need to find ways to keep the water from freezing over, such as heated buckets or bucket cozies.


Decreased amounts of manure can also be an early warning sign of colic, as can diarrhea, droppings that are small and dry, and/or undigested grain in your horse’s waste.


Horses that are developing colic sometimes paw at the ground. It also isn’t unusual for horses that are developing colic to sweat more than usual, or nip or kick at their flanks. Rolling, crankiness, uneasiness, and restlessness can also be red flags. Last but not least, watch Silver’s posture: if he is standing stiffly, is in an unusual position, or seems reluctant to move, he may be ill. Foals with colic may lie on their backs and tuck their hooves in.

Unusual Behavior

The better you know Silver, the easier it will be for you to spot any uncharacteristic behavior that could indicate illness. For instance, an active, sociable equine that is just standing quietly in his stall, looking sleepy, may be sick, while that could be perfectly normal behavior for a less energetic horse.

If your horse shows any of these symptoms, or any other signs of illness, contact us, your local Park County, CO animal hospital, immediately. We are always here to help!

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