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What is colic? It is abdominal pain from any cause. It originates in the stomach or intestinal tract. Horses cannot vomit or belch, which makes them more prone to colic than other animals. Grass and hay can block the
large intestine. Insufficient water, a change in feed, bad teeth, or sand buildup can also contribute to the blockage of the intestines. The intestines can also become obstructed when the intestine rotates around itself, or when the intestine moves into an abnormal location. Most of the time, when the intestines become twisted or displaced, it is not from the horse rolling. The horse rolls because the intestine has become twisted or displaced, and it is very painful. Colic can also be caused by internal parasites(roundworm) and diarrhea. Muscle spasms in the intestinal tract is the most common form of colic. This is caused by change in diet, or even from stress or excitement. Colic can cause death, usually from shock brought on from the obstruction of the blood flow to the horse's digestive tract or by rupture of his stomach or intestines. When the blood supply is completely shut off to the horse's stomach or intestine, he will die within a few hours if it is not taken care of immediately. If the horse's blood flow is not blocked, but contents are able to move throughout the intestines is blocked, the horse may only survive 24-48 hours. If the horse has both blood flow and partial movement for the contents through the intestines, it might take a week for the intestinal contents to pass. But the horse will eventually die if it is not corrected. SOME WARNING SIGNS OF COLIC: Circling, Crouching, Kicking at the Abdomen, Lying Down, Pawing, Restlessness, Rolling, Sweating, Will Not Stand Still, Yawning.
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