Colic In Horses

Colic is a general term used to describe any abdominal pain.

10% of all horses will have an episode of colic in their lives – some may suffer several episodes.

Colic can be extremely serious and may be fatal in some cases, although other cases can be easily resolved.

If you suspect your horse might have colic, it is important to phone the vet as soon as possible to arrange a visit.

Whilst waiting for the vet try to keep the horse calm, and remove hay and feed from the stable if it is safe to do so – remember that horses with colic can be violent, and do not put yourself in danger. If possible, note if the horse has passed faeces, and if so do they have a normal consistency and appearance.

Signs of colic in


  • Looking uncomfortable
  • Restless
  • Lying down frequently
  • Patchy sweating
  • Not eating
  • Increased heart rate and respiratory rate
  • Violently rolling

What causes colic in horses?

Colic can have a number of different causes however, in some cases no specific cause can be found.

Causes of colic can include:

Altered diet/management

Change in environment/weather



Poor teeth

Farm & Equine

Our dedicated Equine Practice

Farm & Equine

Markeaton Lane, Markeaton, Derby DE22 4NH
01332 294929
Find out more

Save money with our Healthy Horse Club!

Our Healthy Horse Club allows you to budget for your horse’s routine preventative healthcare. We offer Bronze, Silver and Gold packages to suit yours and your horse’s requirements.

Join today