Horses may have colic without diarrhea, diarrhea
without colic, and colic with diarrhea depending on the cause.
Colic is defined as acute abdominal pain. Colic does
not indicate the cause, location, or source of the abdominal pain.
Diarrhea is defined as passage of fecal material
that has increased water content.
There are many types and causes of colic such as:
ulcers, dysbiosis (imbalance of good and bad bacteria and yeast),
leaky gut syndrome, gas distension, obstruction/impaction,
intestinal twists, hernias, foreign bodies, parasites, toxins,
medications, infections (bacterial, fungal, and viral), spasms, and
There are also many possible causes of diarrhea such
as: ulcers/dysbiosis/leaky gut syndrome, parasites, toxins,
infections (bacterial, fungal, and viral), medications (NSAIDs/antibiotics),
cancer, and more.
Some cases of diarrhea and colic can self-correct,
while others require medical and/or surgical treatment. Some cases
can become chronic and severely affect the horse’s health even
resulting in death.
Preventative care is the best option! Provide good
quality feed, hay, pasture, and water. Adding digestive enzymes and
pre/probiotics will improve digestion and promote a healthy GI
tract. Only a few products available in the U.S. have the beneficial
yeast clinically proven to survive past the stomach and treat the
large intestine/colon, where diarrhea originates from. KLPP is one
of them. Monitor and control parasite load. Keep up with dental
care. Limit the use of medications and dewormers to only when
necessary. Administer pre/probiotics to protect the GI tract when
giving medications that may cause problems, such as antibiotics.
If your horse is colicing and/or has diarrhea,
contact your veterinarian for medical advice. Flunixin meglumine (Banamine)
is often recommended to help manage the pain and protect from
toxins. Some essential oils may be beneficial when applied to the
abdomen and under the upper lip, such as Peppermint and DiGize. Most
veterinarians will recommend hand walking to stimulate normal gut
motility. Sometimes a trailer ride can be beneficial to “get things
moving.” With your veterinarian’s approval, giving KLPP orally can
help with gas, ulcers, and irritation in the stomach and intestines.
This tip was brought to you by John J. Hanover, DVM
and KAM Animal Services, home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE
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