Horse with Gas Colic
Gas colic is when gas builds up anywhere in the horse's gastrointestinal tract. Causing factors can be stress, inadequate access to roughage, or rich pasture grass, poor parasite management , and other unknown factors.
Having experienced gas colic several times with horses and consulting with several veterinarians on the topic, I found the following treatments to be successful in alleviating the horse's pain and allowing the gas to pass.
1. Hook up your horse trailer and take your horse for a ride on a bumpy dirt road.
2. Energy healing - any modality works by focusing on the gas pocket and visualizing its movement out of the system.
3. Walk your horse.
4. Allow your horse to lie down quietly, as this can help move the gas further up the GI Tract (partner this with energy healing).
5. Brew Slippery Elm Bark, Marshmallow Root, Fennel Seed and Cinnamon together into a tea and then give it to your horse over whole oats (see recipe below for details). This coats the GI Tract and allows things to move.
6. Arnica Montana homeopathic for pain; muscle test your horse for exact dosage. Note: if the pain is too much (nothing seems to be helping and you do not see signs of improvement), then Banamine from your veterinarian is required to break the pain cycle.
7. Carbo Vegetabilis homeopathic for stomach bloating with gas; muscle test your horse for exact dosage.
The keys are to break the pain cycle and to get things flowing again in the GI Tract. The longer the colic goes on, the more likely you will need direct veterinary assistance. You know your horse best so trust your instincts and intuition. Always consult with your veterinarian on how to proceed. These tips are meant as a complement to traditional veterinarian care, and not meant as replacement treatment or diagnosis.
Gas Colic Herb Recipe:
1 tablespoon powdered Slippery Elm Bark
1 tablespoon powdered Marshmallow Root
1 cup of water
Add powdered Fennel Seed and Cinnamon as if you were seasoning the tea. Go with your intuition on how much to add.
Bring mixture to boil
Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes (add 5 minutes if herbs are not powdered)
Feed 1/2 cup to 1 cup over 1/4-1/2 cup whole oats (or some other natural non-processed food stuff your horse likes to eat) 2-3 times/day.
Photo by Kim Baker: Horses will lie down and roll in an attempt to alleviate the pain from colic.
Kim Baker is a respected equine specialist, standing out in her field because she works with the whole horse (mind, body, & spirit) as an individual, developing customized solutions for horse and rider. Kim offers clinics, workshops and retreats in foundation training, trail training, problem solving, energy healing and more. www.kbnaturalhorsemanship.com
Interview with Dr. Gray on Colic
Dr. Lydia Gray is the Medical Director and Staff Veterinarian for SmartPak Equine in Plymouth, MA, where she directs the research and development of products and provides horse health and nutrition education to a wide variety of audiences. Dr. Gray’s work has appeared in more than a dozen general and trade publications and she speaks frequently around the country. She is the proud owner of a Trakehner gelding named “Newman” that she competes in dressage and combined driving, is president of her local driving club in Illinois and just graduated with distinction from the USDF "L" judges program.