What causes a horse to colic?

Colic is one of the most common emergency problems with horses. One in three emergency vet call outs are for colic and if not treated early enough colic can escalate very quickly. Recognising the early signs of colic and prompt veterinary action improve chances of a full recovery.

If you notice any change in your horse’s behaviour or your horse is showing signs of distress, contact your vet as soon as possible.

The signs and symptoms of colic in a horse*:

- Restless, rolling and pawing at the floor - Eating less and droppings reduced
- Abdominal pain and repeatedly looking at their flank 
- Clinical changes and sweating
- Tired and lying down for long periods

For further information on how to spot the signs of colic, read a horse owner’s story as told by Maddie.


How to prevent horse colic:

Some horses are prone to colic and unfortunately as hard as we try, some types of colic aren’t preventable. You can do some things to try and reduce the risk of colic:

1) Always ensure your horse has access to fresh and clean water
2) Avoid feeding hay on the ground in a sandy arena
3) Have your horse’s teeth checked every six months by a trained professional
4) Control parasites with a regular worming routine
5) Get to know your horse – what is normal behaviour for them?
6) Do not give them a feed too soon after hard exercise, likewise let them digest feed for at least an hour before hard exercise.


How much does colic treatment cost?

10% of colic cases are critical, a bout of colic requiring surgery means an extended period of veterinary care and a stay at an equine hospital. Colic surgery can be expensive, the Harry Hall colic cover gives you peace of mind should your horse be affected by colic and require surgery. Harry Hall colic cover will cover the cost of surgery and after-care up to a maximum of 50% of the cost of the surgical procedure or no more than 15 (fifteen) days from the time of surgery, whichever the lesser value.

What does the colic cover include?

At Harry Hall, you can get colic cover and vet fees insurance combined for multiple horses, the colic cover specifically includes:

• Cover is for colic surgery and does not cover any bouts of colic that did not result in the horse undergoing surgery under general anaesthetic.
• A limit of £5,000 per claim and in the aggregate.
• Costs of aftercare is included up to a maximum of 50% of the cost of the surgical procedure or for no more than 15 days whichever is the lesser value.
• The cover is provided for a maximum of two horses which you own or have on full loan, or three horses if you have a family membership, as named on the certificate of insurance.
• An excess of £500 applies to every claim.
• The policy excludes horses above the age of 15 years, at inception or renewal of the policy.
• Cover is not available for any horse which has suffered from or shown signs of colic in the past.
• Livery costs (whilst at the equine hospital/boarding costs) are excluded.

For FAQs please click here.


How to find out more about colic cover at Harry Hall:

For more information on colic cover at Harry Hall contact the customer service team on 01274 711 011, email contact@harryhall.com or drop us a message on Facebook.

*Source - Horse and Hound