The C-Word

horse in barn could have colic

There’s few things in the horse-world that cause instant distress faster than colic, and for good reason. Colic remains to be the leading cause of death in horses worldwide. Colic causes range from a simple blockage, a spasm in the colon, excess gas buildup, torsions in the digestive tract, with the majority of colic episodes being idiopathic, meaning we don’t know why the colic has started.



No root cause determined and accounts for 80% of all colic diagnoses.

This includes:


Over-fermentation of food and causes gas or excess fluid to build in the digestive

tract. Creating a very uncomfortable situation for the horse.


A blockage caused by the accumulation of debris, dirt or sand in the colon making it

difficult or impossible to dispose of waste. An impaction is the easiest to form to

prevent by simply monitoring and maintaining the horse’s feed.


Cause is clinically verifiable.

These include:


This form is very dangerous as the intestine can double back on itself and cause

blockage and blood-flow issues. Most commonly caused by parasites like

tapeworms and easily avoided by maintaining hygiene and diet.

Gastric rupture

Fairly rare, the gastric rupture takes place when an impaction makes its way to the

horse’s stomach and causes excess gas to force the stomach to dilate.


Perhaps the most fatal forms of equine colic, torsion is a twist in the small intestine

or colon which can cause the blood supply to be cut off and result in necrotic tissue

or stroke.

Reducing the risk of colic doesn’t have to be daunting when you follow these simple veterinarian-recommended guidelines:

  • Feed smaller and more frequently, this allows starches to digest before reaching the equine hindgut, preventing hindgut acidosis which can be a precursor to colic.

  • Add more quality forage & reduce feed concentrates

  • Slow food intake by adding chaff (chopped hay) to meals to help reduce your horse’s risk for colic.

While veterinarians believe that diet plays an integral role in keeping colic at bay in their horse patients, unfortunately, it can’t do everything and that’s where science is seeing a big breakthrough in the use of acupressure and red light therapy to quell and even prevent colic.

colic and acupressure points in horses diagram

By utilizing key points along the horse’s nervous system and digestive tract we use acupressure and red light therapy to address current colic symptoms as well as prevent possible future colic outbreaks. Contact us today to learn more about your options for fighting off the dreaded C-word using acupressure and/or red light therapy. And as always, a proper veterinarian diagnosis is the first step. So be sure to have your veterinarian administer a proper exam to ensure the best course of action moving forward.

We also provide acupressure clinics, in which, you will learn about acupressure and some amazing points you can use on your own horse. If you are interested in hosting a clinic or attending one, please reach out to us or read here for more information.

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