Your Guide to Equine Health Care

What You Need to Know About Colic in Horses

Learn about the clinical signs of colic and what to do if your horse experiences a bout.

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What You Need to Know About Colic in Horses
Colic signs in horses vary widely in type and severity, ranging from lethargy to rolling and kicking at the belly. | Photo: iStock

Colic, or abdominal pain, comes in many forms, with a wide range of signs and ways to treat it. To provide some clarity for horse owners, Martha Mallicote, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, clinical associate professor in the University of Florida’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, reviewed this common condition during the university’s 2020 Healthy Horses Conference.

“The equine gastrointestinal tract is complicated, and those complications lead to some of the types of colic we see in horses,” Mallicote said.

She divided those types into three main

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Alexandra Beckstett, Managing Editor of The Horse and a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as Assistant Editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse.

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