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Southern Pines, NC

910-992-8225

Foundation Equine Clinic is an equine exclusive veterinary practice serving Southern Pines, NC, Aberdeen NC, Pinehurst NC, Raeford NC, Vass NC, Sanford NC and surrounding areas. The practice is dedicated to preventive care and dentistry, and values all types of horses and their owners. If you are looking for a horse vet or equine dentist in the sandhills of NC, please give us a call! 

Colic / Abdominal Pain

Colic / Abdominal Pain


The definition of colic in a horse is "abdominal pain." While we traditionally think of colic as a problem with the GI tract of a horse, symptoms are the same for abdominal pain from the urinary tract, spleen, liver and other areas within the abdomen. Additionally, horses with pneumonia or fluid in the chest also usually appear "colicky." 

 

Recognizing Colic

Signs of colic include rolling, pawing, "flipping" the upper lip, unwillingness to eat, looking at the sides, and much more. Colic symptoms can sometimes appear rapidly, with a previously-normal horse suddenly becoming violently ill, or may come on gradually, with a few days of lackluster appetite progressing to increased time laying down. Colic should almost always be considered an emergency. If you notice these symptoms, a prompt phone call can ensure that your horse is treated before major complications occur. 

 

Diagnosing Colic

Making a diagnosis in a case of colic is sometimes simple (like in the case of an impaction), and sometimes complicated (like in the case of kidney stones or a hernia of the diaphragm). A colic exam always begins a full physical exam and usually includes trans-rectal palpation of the abdominal organs. Other diagnostic tools that we utilize are nasogastric intubation ("passing a tube)," abdominal ultrasound, abdominocentesis ("belly tap"), bloodwork and more. 

 
 

 

Treating Colic

Most cases of colic are treated on the farm with pain-relieving medications, medications to relax the intestines and laxatives. IV fluids can also be administered right on the farm. Occasionally, a case of colic is so severe that the horse may require hospitalization. Our clinic is set up for monitoring colic cases and administering IV fluids under the watchful eye of trained staff and veterinarians. Hospital stalls are monitored with 24/7 video surveillance and a staff member or veterinarian is always on the premises. In the event that a horse needs colic surgery, we refer the patient to NC State University or another clinic of the client's choosing.