colic paper - Stephen Kramer Colic Colic is the number one...

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Stephen Kramer Colic Colic is the number one killer of horses and is characterized by abdominal pain. There are more than 75 causes of colic, including a variety of gastrointestinal conditions, which can cause a horse severe pain. There are ten main symptoms of colic. Although colic can often times be treated medically, colic may require major abdominal surgery, which is usually an expensive procedure. In domesticated horses, colic can cause premature death and must be treated quickly. Every colic case must be treated as an emergency because wasted time can reduce diagnosis and even the chance of survival. Horse owners must observe their horses closely and recognize colic symptoms in order to avoid a possible fatal outcome. Symptoms There are a variety of signs that indicate that a horse has colic. However, it is very important to observe the differences between a symptom of colic and natural horse behavior. For instance, horses enjoy rolling around, which is a natural behavior for them. It is vital that one can tell the difference between when a horse is rolling because they are in pain versus when they are rolling to simply scratch their back. There are ten main symptoms of colic, which include: 1. “The horse is reluctant (anorexia) or refuses to eat; 2. The horse may look its sides, or turn and nip at its sides;
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3. The horse may kick at its abdomen with its back legs, paw with its forelegs, or stomp its feet; 4. The horse appears to be stretching out abnormally when defecating or is straining to pass a bowel movement; 5. The horse lies down and begins rolling and thrashing violently; 6. The horse is excessively sweaty after light exercise; 7. The horse does excessive lip curling (Flehmen response); 8. The horse has cool extremities (e.g. lips might feel cool to the touch on inside of the mouth); 9. Lack of bowel movements, as evidenced by the small number of manure piles (however, bowel movements maybe evident in some more severe cases); and 10. Along with these other symptoms, the horse's pulse and respiratory rate may increase (greater than 52 beats per minute)” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_colic). It is important to note that a horse's temperature usually should not increase with colic. However, if a horse is experiencing abdominal pain and also has a fever, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately, as this is often an indication of an infection and may also be an indication of peritonitis. Types of Colic
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Most cases of colic can be classified into three different types (http://ultimatehorsesite.com/info/colic.html). The first type of colic is intestinal dysfunction. In this type the horse’s digestive tract does not function correctly. This is the most common type of colic and can be recognized by impaction, paralysis, and excessive gas. The second type of colic is intestinal accidents, which is less common than intestinal dysfunction. In this type of colic the intestines are injured or torn and generally necessitates emergency surgery. The third type of colic is enteritis or
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This essay was uploaded on 09/16/2007 for the course AN SC 212 taught by Professor Bell,aw/cherney,dj during the Fall '06 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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colic paper - Stephen Kramer Colic Colic is the number one...

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