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colic definition

Written By onci on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 | 8:58 PM

Colic in babies and horses

Colic is one problem that both humans and horses share. But unlike with babies, of which colic is just an incidental problem that will go away after a few months; colic in horses is a serious problem that need to be addressed immediately.

Baby colic

Colic is a problem in the digestive tract characterized by a pain in the stomach or in the abdomen. Until now, there is still no reason why this happens in babies. Experts believe that colic arises from the gas in the intestines. In babies, colic starts as early as three weeks.

First signs will of course be frequent crying and screaming that can last anywhere from an hour to five hours nonstop. It peaks during the second month and declines during the third month. By the end of the fourth month, incidents of colic will just cease.

And though there is really not much danger that colic poses to babies, parents are still worried because of the amount of crying that it can ensue. Because there is no known cause, there is also no specific cure or solution. In fact, the only thing that parents can do is to make their experience of colic as less painful as possible. This is done by putting babies in comfortable positions like in swaddling, walking them or making them listen to some soothing music. Parents should avoid giving them too much food because this will only exacerbate the problem.

Horse colic

Colic in horses is not the same. In addition to being a serious problem, colic in horses can appear anytime, any age. The same reactions are elicited in horses. They will also be crying and groaning, prancing and kicking all over the place. In severe cases, they can even become so wild that they will assume difficult and almost unnatural positions just to be relived of the pain.

However, horse owners should remember that colic in horses has a much different onset. Unlike with humans where the pain can be readily felt and shown through crying, horses will deal with it alone through listlessness and lack of energy.

They will start to refuse food and will not have any appetite for eating. This is one of the signs that horse owners often miss when trying to deal with colic. Remember that they will only get wild and restless when the pain is too severe for them to bear. Otherwise, they only suffer in silence.

Wired differently

Horses cannot also cope with colic the same way humans can. Because of their different body structure and body system, they are not able to vomit or relieve the pressure that they are feeling in their stomach. Because of this, the pain and the problem can build up inside; thus worsening the situation. This is perhaps why colic in horses is much serious. In fact, while some horses do respond to therapy and eventually get well; most will deteriorate despite medication and treatment.

Another reason why colic is a problem with horses is the fact that they are built in different ways. Passages of blood and food in their bodies are much narrower; thus, more susceptible to impactions and obstructions especially with food.

When afflicted with colic, it is important that you call a veterinarian as soon as you can so that he can administer appropriate treatment. Make sure also that your horse does not have any access to solid foods such as hay or grass. The only thing that the horse is allowed to take in is water.
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