As winter creeps up, so does the dreaded winter colic. Michigan’s ever changing weather wreaks havoc on horse health. The plummeting temperatures decrease motivation to have them drink enough to stay hydrated. A mixture of these combinations can cause the perfect colic storm. Here are some of the signs to keep an eye out for;
- Excessive lying down and or rolling.
- Not eating or drinking
- Passing little to no manure
- Acting uncomfortable
If you see any of these symptoms and feel like there is something wrong, please notify barn staff and a trainer. Colic can be unpredictable, making identifying it as soon as possible very important.
The most common type of colic in the winter is impaction. This occurs when digestion is being slowed down to the point of accumulation causing blockage. The best way to prevent winter colic is to encourage your horse to stay hydrated. We recommend making sure your horse has a salt lick or to feed wet foods such as beet pulp or soaked alfalfa cubes to stay hydrated.
When the the winter days get warm, it might be time to switch blanket weights. This is something to be especially mindful of in the spring. If a horse is too hot under a blanket, it can cause colic. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re blanketing properly.