Thought 4the day: Horses and ponies are all different in their own right and why shouldn't they be! Some are fast and nimble and others heavy and reliable. I love watching people come down to meet our guys as they are different with all that come. Connections can be made or the horse simply turns away and says not ready yet or not for me thank you lol They are amazing creatures and when that person and home comes along we know by how they are with each other. Its beautiful to see :o)
Quote 4the day: Never judge a book by its covers as underneith that neglected horse is a romantic novel waiting to be read and realised...
Fact 4the day: Constipation and colic in horses
Constipation is an abnormal condition that is recognized by the body's inability to expel food that has been digested. The inability to defecate may be due to an underlying medical condition that requires treatment, but may also be related to stress, or to a minor condition that needs only minor treatment. Most constipation that is caused by the latter conditions will clear up on its own within a reasonable amount of time.
In some cases, however, constipation can be prolonged and can lead to severe health problems. Constipation usually occurs as the result of some other illness or condition; which is why it is usually classified as a secondary condition. The suppressed movement of waste from the body can be toxic to the system, and when added to the underlying condition that may be either directly or indirectly causing it, the horse's health can quickly deteriorate. Constipation can cause other problems as well, including hemorrhoids, anal fissures and more.
Horses usually have a bowel movement shortly after eating. If you notice that your horse is not having bowel movements after meals that may be indicative of a greater problem. Usually, constipation is a rare event for adult horses, but it does happen, and can occur at any age.
Symptoms and Types
•Constipation (i.e., difficult, infrequent or lack of fecal evacuation)
•Colic – severe pain in the abdomen
•Visible hemorrhoids around anal opening
•Inflammation of the small intestine
•Twisting of the intestine (torsion)
•Obstruction due to impacted food material
•Presence of parasites in the system, which can lead to irritation or act as a blockage in the intestinal tract
•Decrease in exercise (winter and summer months)
•Inability to chew as thoroughly due to dental issues (typically found in older horses)
You will need to give a thorough history of your horse's health, onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have led to this condition. Your veterinarian will then perform a thorough physical exam on your horse, taking into account the background history of symptoms that you have provided. The constipation can be the sign of another medical issue, or it can lead to a more severe problem if it is not resolved in a reasonable amount of time. If the issue does not correct itself, your doctor will need to apply more invasive treatment techniques.
Your doctor may use X-ray and ultrasound imaging to view the intestinal system. If growths are seen, samples of tissue and fluid will need to be taken for a biopsy, in order to determine the nature of the growths. If the intestines appear to be twisted, your doctor may need to perform a surgery to correct the twisting.
Most constipation will be the result of a temporary malady and will clear up on its own. When there is a blockage, the body works naturally to expel it. However, it should not be allowed to go on longer than a couple of days before action is taken. Do not wait longer than a day to contact your veterinarian for advice on the matter, as your veterinarian, knowing your horse's background health history, may want to see your horse, or may have some advice that is specific to your horse's age, breed, or to the time of year or location in which the illness is occurring in.
An enema or other similar methods may be used to treat more severe cases of constipation in horses, or your veterinarian may find that the fecal matter is too solid and impacted to be passed gently and needs to be manually removed in a more clinical setting. If the cause is found to be parasites, your doctor will use an antiparasitic drug to eradicate them, and will recommend regular deworming.
Living and Management
A high fiber diet is a great way to keep your horse happy, healthy and regular, but you must always be sure that your horse is ingesting plenty of water as well. If your horse is older, its teeth may be more sensitive to the temperature of the water. An easy solution is to avoid giving your horse very cold water. Tepid or lukewarm water can be easier to drink and more easily absorbed by the body as well. Exercise is essential too, as regular physical movement encourages movement of the intestinal tract as well.
Even though the weather is not always suitable for outdoor activities, it is still important to make sure that your horse is able to move around comfortably and is not left standing in one place without enough room to turn around comfortably.
Ensuring that fiber in the form of fresh hay is part of your horse’s everyday diet is the best way to ensure that it is able to pass bowel movements regularly