Horses, just like humans, can experience a wide range of illnesses. One of these illnesses is known as colic, which appears to affect horses more so than other mammals. Colic can be extremely painful and even fatal if left untreated. There are several natural home remedies for horse colic, so keep reading to find out which ones work best.
What is Horse Colic?
Colic is a general term used to describe abdominal pain. In horses, however, colic is a serious condition of extreme abdominal discomfort that requires immediate veterinary assistance. A horse that is experiencing the pain of colic might paw, roll, and have trouble defecating.
Common symptoms of colic include:
- Inability to defecate
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of normal gut sounds
- Sweating and increased heart rate
- Urge for constant urination
What Causes Colic in Horses?
Horses evolved on a different diet than the one they receive today. A horse’s digestive system is built to eat high quantities of low energy foods like grass over a long period throughout the day. The large surface area of their digestive tract allows for rapid absorption of these low energy foods, providing readily available energy for the horse’s physically demanding lifestyle.
Modern day domestication of horses introduces several potential illnesses in horses due to the dramatic change in diet. Horses are expected to eat a different diet on an entirely different schedule than what they are used to.
It is important to understand how a horse’s digestive system works. Horses cannot throw up indigestible foods or toxins, which can result in gastrointestinal distress. Additionally, horses absorb nutrients from ingested products fairly quickly. Ingestion of toxins or pathogens can enter the bloodstream before getting broken down, making the body highly susceptible to illness.
Horses produce gas as a byproduct of fermentation of the foods they eat. As a result, excessive gas accumulation can cause abdominal pain.
Causes of colic:
- Excess gas accumulation in colon
- Accumulation of indigestible material in digestive tract
- Ingestion of parasites
- Ingestion of sands
- Dehydration (fluids prevent hardening of ingested materials)
Natural Home Remedies for Horse Colic
Full of vitamins and minerals, dandelion is a great home remedy for horse colic. The calcium, iron, potassium, and beta carotene in the herb can help boost digestion and relieve an upset stomach.
Chamomile is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also promotes relaxation in the body, which can aid in the digestive process. This can be beneficial for any horse experiencing colic. Horses also tend to prefer the taste of chamomile.
While valerian root is used as a sedative for humans, it can be used to promote relaxation in horses. This can be helpful for digestion and gastric discomfort. It is commonly used to treat colic in horses.
Meadowsweet has effects similar to aspirin. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can help with equine arthritis as well as gut problems. Because of this, it may be an ideal option for treating colic in horses. You can administer it as a dry herb mixed in with the horse’s feed. Liquid options may also be available.
Peppermint is known to aid in the digestive process. As a result, it can help relieve pain caused by colic. Mix some peppermint leaves into the feed to help your horse’s digestive system. Also, look for peppermint essential oil as an external topical. Apply about 20 drops of the essential oil to the horse’s abdomen to provide soothing relief.
CBD oil for horses is a product of the hemp plant. It is well-known for having medicinal properties. Studies consistently show that CBD can be effective at treating anxiety, depression, digestive problems such as colic, pain, inflammation, sleep, and many more conditions.
The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD can help reduce pain in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to this, CBD may offer a multitude of health benefits.
CBD is a very unique compound. It is non-toxic, has virtually no side effects, and is all-natural. People often confuse CBD and THC because they come from the same family of plants. In reality, however, CBD and THC are completely different chemical compounds. Unlike CBD, THC has psychoactive properties that alter your state of mind when ingested. This is one of the main reasons why people favor CBD over THC. CBD offers treatment for a range of illnesses without affecting normal functioning.
Benefits of CBD Oil as a Home Remedy for Horse Colic
When it comes to treating illnesses, most people think of conventional medicine as the only effective solution. The truth is, however, that these strong drugs tend to come with unpleasant side effects. In addition, long-term use of most conventional drugs can result in deteriorating effects on your animal’s health.
Colic is a disorder of the digestive system that can lead to excruciating abdominal pain. It occurs due to a buildup of gas, a blockage, or an accumulation of sand in the gut. Colic can cause severe agony to a horse if you do not manage it properly.
There is not doubt that owners want the best treatment for their horses. Optimal care is crucial for optimal functioning. The best treatment is one that is effective and does not have serious side effects, even over a long-term. CBD oil is the ideal choice because it can be both a medicine to treat illnesses and a supplement to your horse’s well-being.
CBD can help reduce inflammation and promote healthy functioning of the digestive tract. It has a calming effect that can relax the horse’s muscles and ease pain. This can make it bearable for the horse to deal with colic.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Other Horse Ailments
Equine arthritis affects many horses and its effects can be devastating. It is a degenerative joint disease that causes stiffness, inflammation, and pain in the legs. These symptoms are enough to effectively impair a horse’s ability to carry out daily activities.
CBD’s powerful abilities in fighting inflammation can reduce swelling and pain associated with equine arthritis. It can also help reduce stiffness in the joints to aid in better mobility.
Anxiety and depression
Horses can experience mood disorders like anxiety and depression. These can negatively impact their lives and alter their ability to make rational decisions. Mood disorders can put their lives at risk if not managed the right way.
CBD can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression through its interactions with the endocannabinoid system. The ECS can regulate serotonin and dopamine activity, two neurotransmitters involved in anxiety and depression.
Anxiety can cause insomnia and therefore have negative effects on health. CBD’s anti-anxiety effects can activate serotonin receptors in the brain, creating a soothing effect and making it easier to sleep.
Horses are susceptible to developing many of the same diseases as other domesticated animals due to their unnatural diets. These include diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
CBD can regulate appetite and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It does this by balancing hormones involved in controlling hunger via its interactions with the ECS.
Horses can suffer from epilepsy and experience seizures. The ECS regulates much of the central nervous system, that is, neural activity in the brain and spinal cord. CBD can effectively reduce the number and frequency of seizures in epileptic horses by preventing overstimulation of neurons.
The main function of the ECS is to maintain balance and equilibrium in the body. This includes regulating vital functions such as the immune system, nervous system, and digestive system. CBD promotes homeostasis, which is the key to wellness and survival.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
Part of the reason why CBD oil is an excellent treatment for horse colic is that it has little to no side effects. It is 100% safe and non-toxic. It is also non-addictive, making it great for long-term use. Potential side effects of CBD oil include minor effects such:
- Dry mouth – CBD affects saliva production and can promote thirst as a result.
- Lowered blood pressure – CBD’s relaxing properties can cause a slight drop in blood pressure.
- Drowsiness – When used in high doses, CBD can cause drowsiness and lightheadedness.
How Much CBD Should I Give My Horse for Colic?
While there are currently no standard dosing guidelines for CBD, there are recommended dosages that you can use to start off treatment for your horse:
The recommended amount for a regular strength dosage is 0.25 milligrams of CBD oil per every 1 pound of body weight.
The recommended amount for a stronger dosage is 0.50 milligrams of CBD oil per every 1 pound of body weight.
Keep in mind that these are only recommendations and can be altered to meet the needs of your horse. Some animals respond better to low doses while others may benefit from higher doses. CBD oil is most effective when used twice daily. Effects are usually noticed within one hour for acute symptoms, whereas it may take up to two weeks of consistent use to notice a decrease in chronic symptoms.