The signs of colic are well-known to many horse owners: abdominal discomfort shown by pawing, kicking at the belly, repeatedly rolling, sweating and increased heart and respiration rate.
While these symptoms are all rightfully red flags, they are not only signs of abdominal distress; they may also be signs of pain in almost any other area in of the horse, reports The Horse. Other issues that may mimic colic include:
- Liver Disease. Bile stones can make a horse uncomfortable enough to act colicky.
- Urinary or kidney disease. Pain in the abdominal cavity or just outside the abdomen can cause horses to stretch out or have issues urinating, which can look like colic. Bladder stones, kidney failure or a tumor in the urethra can all cause these reactions.
- Musculoskeletal issues. While these are most often associated with lameness, sometimes the musculoskeletal disease mimics colic. Horses that are laminitic lie down often and are reluctant to move, similar to a horse experiencing a bout of colic. Tying up can also mimic colic.
- Neurologic issues. Tetanus, rabies and botulism can cause signs that mimic colic.
- Respiratory issues. Respiratory issues may also be mistaken for colic, specifically those that are associated with the lining of the lungs, like pleuropneumonia or rib fractures.
- Reproductive issues. Ovulation in mares, inguinal hernia or testicular torsion in stallions can cause colic-like signs.
Read more at The Horse.
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