Colic 101 by SmartPak

If you’ve ever had a horse colic, you know how stressful–and dangerous–it can be. Our friends at SmartPak give us the facts and introduce us to their new ColiCare initiative.

From the SmartPak Blog:

What is colic?
Colic is a general, catch-all term used to refer to any sort of abdominal pain in horses (in layman’s terms, it’s a belly ache).

While some cases may be so mild that you don’t even notice, a severe case of colic is a medical emergency. In fact, colic is responsible for more deaths in horses than any other disease.

Yikes! What can I do?
The best thing you can do for your horse is get educated (this article is a great place to start!). Knowing the risk factors can help you make smart management and dietary changes. Learning the warning signs can help you catch an episode early on, improving your horse’s chances of recovery. Last but not least, there are several supplement ingredients that have been clinically studied for their effect on digestive health.

Is my horse at risk?
Several risk factors have been proven* to increase a horse’s chances of experiencing a colic episode. Click here to learn what they are along with smart tips for reducing them.

Research shows that…

…prebiotics can reduce disruption in the cecum and colon and inhibit the absorption of harmful bacteria in the hindgut.

digestive enzymes can increase the proper digestion of sugars and starches in the foregut, reducing the incidence of hindgut acidosis (which may lead to colic and laminitis).

…yeast can improve fiber digestion and assist the beneficial bacteria of the cecum in adjusting to feed changes.

Warning signs of colic

Tell-tale signs of potential GI upset:
• Pawing
• Looking at, kicking or biting abdomen
• Repeatedly lying down and getting up
• Sitting in a dog-like position or lying on the back
• Lip curling (Flehmen response)
• Lack of bowel movements
• Reduced or absent gut sounds
• Not eating or drinking
• Stretching out as if to urinate
• Elevated respiratory rate
• Elevated heart rate

The best game plan is both preemptive and proactive. On one hand, it’s best to avoid colic in the first place if you can help it; on the other, it’s also smart to have a worst-case-scenario plan in place. SmartPak’s ColiCare initiative covers both bases.


Enroll in SmartPak’s ColiCare program today! Click here for details.

Go SmartPak, and Go Riding!

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