Colic in the horse. Flatulence of the intestines in a horse: causes, treatment, prevention
Flatulence (or bloating) in the horse’s intestines - This is an excessive accumulation of gases in the intestine, as a result of which the intestinal walls are stretched, and its functioning is disrupted.
Flatulence of the intestines in a horse is primary (the result of eating light-fermenting food) and secondary (the reason is bowel obstruction).
Causes of Flatulence in a Horse
1. The main reason is a large amount of juicy light-fermenting food:
- young wet grass
- mowed grass not sufficiently dried.
2. A large amount of feed.
3. Feeding the horse with flour.
4. Eating moldy or sour feed and subsequent plentiful watering.
The course of flatulence in the horse
The trigger factor is more intense gas formation than usual. An important role in the development of intestinal flatulence in a horse is played by the cessation of gas discharge as a result of a sphincter spasm in the area where the small colon passes into a straight line.
As the gases build up, the bowel contraction intensifies, and eventually the contraction becomes spastic. The large intestines, filled with gases and fodder masses, fill the entire abdominal cavity and stretch the abdominal walls. The shape of the abdomen changes, it increases in volume. Intra-abdominal pressure rises, the organs of the chest and abdominal cavity are compressed. All this is accompanied by severe colic.
The result of all this is the redistribution of blood, which goes to the peripheral parts of the body. Heartbeat and breathing are difficult, intoxication is increasing.
The severe course of flatulence in the horse ends with a rupture of the intestines and diaphragm.
A horse may die from intoxication and asphyxiation.
On average, bowel flatulence in a horse lasts about 12 hours. But sometimes after 4 to 5 hours, so many gases accumulate that the animal dies from suffocation as a result of compression of the lungs.
Symptoms of flatulence in the horse
- The abdomen increases in volume, especially on the right side.
- The horse suffers from bouts of colic and is worried.
- At first, intestinal noises intensify, then weaken and stop.
- The horse is sweating, trying to lie down and ride on the ground.
- Sometimes the horse tries to take the pose of a sitting dog.
- Rapid breathing, shortness of breath of the chest type is observed.
- Cyanosis of the mucous membranes.
- The temperature is normal or slightly elevated.
Diagnosis of flatulence in the horse
As a rule, the diagnosis is not difficult. Flatulence is distinguished from acute intestinal expansion by attempts to adopt the pose of a sitting dog. Also, with acute expansion of the stomach, the volume of the abdomen does not increase.
Prognosis of flatulence in the horse
Signs of an adverse horse bowel outcome:
- An increase in anxiety.
- Teeth grinding as a symptom of intoxication.
- Lowering the temperature of the limbs, ears and lips (peripheral parts of the body).
- Muscle tremors.
- Cold sweat.
- Lack of coordination of movements.
- Cessation of intestinal motility.
- Filamentous pulse.
Signs of a favorable outcome of flatulence in the horse:
- Reduction of anxiety.
- The appearance of intestinal motility.
- Outflow of gases.
- Cessation of colic.
Treatment of flatulence in the horse
First of all, if you observe dangerous symptoms, you should contact the veterinarian as soon as possible and follow his recommendations.
You can drive a horse, rub the skin with camphor alcohol or a flying liniment.
The first day you can’t feed the horse, but you can drink. From the second day you can give good hay.
Treatment begins with the fact that the attacks of colic and spasm of the sphincter between the rectum and small colon are removed. A 10% solution of chlorohydrate (50 ml intravenously) or a solution of novocaine (0.25% - 0.5%, respectively, 1 and 0.5 ml per 1 kg of horse body weight) is administered.
To relieve intestinal spasm and eliminate pain, painkillers and antispasmodics are used.
Prevention of flatulence in the horse
The only prevention of flatulence of intestines and colic in horses is compliance with the rules of feeding and giving good quality feed.