More colic seen when temperatures swing

Here in New England the weather has been all over the place. Friday we had a high of about 20-degrees, Saturday it was 44 and sunny, Sunday it was in the low 50s and pouring rain and now temperatures are predicted to fall back into the 20s over night.

This is the type of weather that people associate with colic.

Some people believe that sudden changes in barometric pressure can trigger an episode of colic. I haven’t seen any clinical evidence of that, so it’s hard to know if it’s true. What is most likely is that the change in temperatures changes causes changes in behavior — horses may be drinking less, moving less, etc.

I always feed my horse’s grain well watered down (he’s fine with soup), but when the weather is iffy I add more water and also make sure the horses have plenty of hay.

When it’s really warm after a sudden cold spell, I keep riding to a low level of energy — mostly walking — to avoid overheating and I blanket appropriately. Since I trace clip every fall, it helps keep my horse from getting too hot and helps him cool down faster.

Here’s an article that I wrote a few years ago with some tips: It’s Colic Season: What Can You Do?

And here’s a helpful video on how to recognize and prevent colic.

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