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 the fermentation of the foods they eat. As a result, excessive gas accumulation can cause abdominal pain.
Causes of colic:
- Excess gas accumulation in the colon
- Accumulation of indigestible material in the 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 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.
Benefits of CBD Oil
There is no 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 the long-term. CBD oil is the ideal choice. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system helps to regulate inflammation, digestion, mood, anxiety, stress, and much. CBD interacts with the ECS to promote overall wellness and homeostasis. If the ECS is functioning at maximum capacity, horse owners can expect to see a healthier, happier pet.
CBD has a calming effect that may make it more bearable for the horse to deal with colic.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
Part of the reason why CBD oil receives high praise 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?
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. Learn more here!