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Date: 6/6/2012 8:43 am
Colic (abdominal pain) can have many causes and may resolve after assessment and treatment by your local veterinarian. However, colic can also be a life threatening emergency requiring oral or intravenous fluids and sometimes emergency surgery. Emergencies are seen at Auburn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. A referral by your veterinarian is welcomed but is NOT required. Depending on the signs, evaluation of a horse with colic by the internal medicine specialists, residents, or emergency clinicians may include a physical examination, blood work, siphonage of the stomach, abdominocentesis (collection and examination of fluid from the abdominal cavity), rectal examination, and abdominal ultrasound. If indicated, gastroscopy can be performed to view the stomach for gastric ulcers or abdominal radiographs can be used to detect intestinal stones (enteroliths) or sand accumulation. Your horse will be treated and monitored by our dedicated technicians, and surgery can be performed if needed at any time. Less than half of the colic cases referred to Auburn actually require surgery, though many require intravenous fluids and around-the-clock care to speed their recovery.