Colic First AidBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · January 7, 2011
If you see classic signs of colic (pawing, rolling, horse looking at or nipping at flanks), what can you do before the veterinarian arrives? After placing a call to the vet, some general guidelines are to keep the horse quiet and calm; remove feed and hay; keep track of pulse and respiration if possible; monitor changes in color of mucous membranes; and use a stethoscope to check gut sounds on both sides of the abdomen. If the vet is expected to arrive within a reasonable period of time, don't administer medications unless directed to do so by a veterinarian. Masking pain and discomfort with medications could make the examination less accurate. Remember that horses in pain are likely to behave unpredictably, so keep safety in mind as you handle and move around a colicky horse.