Colic Symptom Checklist for Horses
Horse & Rider magazine’s September 2004 issue featured information about enteroliths–intestinal stones that can cause colic. Identifying the early stages of colic and knowing when to call your vet can be vital, not only in cases where enteroliths have caused an obstruction, but any time colic threatens your horse’s health.
Keep a copy of this chart posted in the barn or laminate it and place it in your colic first-aid kit. Call your veterinarian if your horse exhibits two or more symptoms of moderate or severe colic–or if mild colic symptoms persist for more than 30 minutes.
|Heart rate (beats per min.)||40 to 60||60 to 80||over 80|
|Respiratory rate (breaths per min.)||20 to 30||30 to 40||over 40|
|Temperature (degrees Fahrenheit):||99 to 100.5||99 to 100.5||under 99/over 100.5|
|Gum color||pale pink||pale pink||bluish or purple|
|Capillary refill time||1 to 2 seconds||2 to 4 seconds||over 5 seconds|
|Gut sounds||normal or increased||decreased frequency||absent|
|Feces||normal||small, hard fecal balls||none or profuse diarrhea none|
|Pain level||sweating, intermittent pawing/looking at belly/lifting hind leg/stretching||same as mild but continuous plus may try to roll||all other signs plus uncontrollable, continuous attempts to roll/thrash|