Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Allison Price
Colic can strike horses at any time of the year. However, certain types of gastrointestinal disorders are more common during specific seasons. Gas is the most common culprit in springtime.
Gas colic occurs when horses ingest sugary forage, such as lush spring grass. Excessive fermentation in the gut causes gas buildup. Horses can’t burp but can expel gas in the opposite direction. Some gas pockets might not be able escape due to the long intestinal tract of horses. The intestinal wall can become painful if trapped gas is allowed to build up.Gas buildup is often the cause of springtime colic.
Gas colic symptoms may not be present for long periods of time, depending on how the gas pockets are shifting. You may notice the horse snoring, kicking or nipping at his flanks. He may also appear withdrawn and preoccupied. You may hear gurgles, which are technically called Borborygmi. Gas colic can resolve on its own but don’t wait and see. Gas-filled intestines can become twisted and require immediate surgery. At the first sign of colic, call your doctor immediately.
To rule out obstructions or displacements, your veterinarian will first perform a rectal examination. Next, your veterinarian will likely perform a rectal exam to rule out any blockages or displacements. The tube is placed in the stomach of horses suffering from gas colic. It allows the gas to escape. The gas may be smelt by your veterinarian and your horse might feel relieved when the pressure has been released. This is often all that is needed to solve colic.
Your veterinarian might prescribe Buscopan, an anti-spasmodic medication like Buscopan, or Banamine as a painkiller if your horse needs more treatment. Most horses can pass the gas once they feel relaxed and comfortable. They usually recover quickly. To ensure that there aren’t any further problems, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your horse for at least 24 hours.