Feeding Horses Post-Colic

Developing an understanding of post-colic feeding practices can help your horse on the road to recovery.
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Horse post-colic
Depending upon the type and severity of the colic, some horses will need to be held off feed for 12 to 48 hours post-surgery. | Photo: Amelia Munsterman, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, ACVECC, CVA
Most horse owners understand how to handle a colicking horse, but managing a horse post-colic is a different animal. Feeding choices for horses post-colic could help or hinder the animal’s chance for a full recovery.

During a presentation at the 2012 Kentucky Equine Research Conference, held May 17-18 in Lexington, Ky., Amelia Munsterman, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, ACVECC, clinical lecturer in equine critical care medicine and surgery at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, gave a presentation on feeding horses with or after colic.

The Relationship Between Feeding Choices and Colic

Munsterman first explained that horses evolved to consume small quantities of high fiber, low carbohydrate feeds continuously. Many modern-day feeding techniques, she said, contradict these nutritional needs. Tactics such as stall confinement and large meals, for instance, can lead to digestive upset and colic, she said

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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