Increasing number of horse owners concerned about colic

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An increasing number of horse owners are calling the British Horse Society in regards to colic, says the charity.

The British Horse Society’s Welfare Department has seen an increase in calls from horse owners concerned about colic during the winter months.

Colic is a problem throughout the year, but sudden changes in routine, for example changes to turnout or feeding routines in winter, can increase the risk of colic.

In partnership with the University of Nottingham, the BHS runs its REACT Now to Beat Colic campaign. This campaign was created to educate horse owners on how to spot the early signs of colic in their horse and other colic-related issues.

Early signs of colic can include a horse looking restless, pawing the ground or looking dull and depressed. You also might notice your horse eating less than usual, having unexplained sweating or lying down more. Anything that is out of the ordinary for your horse’s behaviour should be considered as a warning sign.

Emmeline Hannelly, BHS Welfare Education Officer: “Winter weather can be an absolute nightmare. Horse owners may be forced to change the management of their horses due to turnout conditions being unsafe especially with the amount of rain and snow which has fallen in recent weeks.

“The concern is that sudden changes in management can increase the risk of colic. The BHS is aware of high numbers of horses suffering from colic across the UK due to these current conditions. There are steps that horse owners can take to decrease the risks which are explained in our REACT Now to Beat Colic advice literature.”

In addition to its REACT campaign, the BHS has created an information pack and set up a designated website providing horse owners with all the information they need to spot the early signs of colic.

For your free copy of the REACT Now to Beat Colic pack, email welfare@bhs.org.uk or call 02476 840517 or visit www.bhs.org.uk/colic

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