Thursday, 21 October 2010

What causes colic in horses

Colic in babies may just be an ordinary occurrence for their parents. After all, colic happens to almost everybody and after getting used to the screaming and the shouting and the crying, the illness will be as normal as eating and sleeping.
The same cannot be said of colic in horses. Yes. Horses also get colicky. In fact, this is considered as a nightmare for every horse-keeper because it can really become serious when not attended immediately. For while some horses respond to therapy and medical treatment, most will deteriorate even after being treated by a veterinarian.
Like babies when they get colicky, horses will also be screaming and crying. That will be all right if they do not add pacing and stamping, which could not only endanger other people who go near them but also themselves. Horses risk serious injury when they are at this kind of situation. Because of the pain, they do not know what they are doing, short of destroying the whole barn if they can.
What’s happening?
Colic is actually very common. In fact, every horse-lover, horse breeder and horse rider will have come across the term one way or the other. References would have been made in various equine books and digests. Colic is considered as an equine emergency because of the way horses react to the problem due to a painful abdomen. They can really get wild.
There are several types of colic in horses. The first one is the spasmodic colic or that which arises from excessive gas. This is the less severe type. The other one is the obstructive colic, which is often caused by obstructions in some parts of their body. This may be in the form of displacements or twists in their muscles.
It can also be caused by impactions in the intestines or in the large colons. Often, this will require treatment, either with oil and a medicine or in other more severe cases, fluid therapy. Another type of colic is caused by overeating while another type is caused by worms.  
What can happen?
As mentioned above, colic in horses can get really serious. This is because they are not structured the way humans are. They are not also “wired” the way we are; so there are things that we can do that they cannot. Here are some of them.
Building it up
Since horses cannot cope with the pressure in their stomach. Unlike humans, they cannot vomit. The pressure will then be bottled up inside and build up as time pass. This will cause distention, which will require decompression.

Anatomically impossible
Horses are built with small anatomical parts. There are narrow areas in their bodies , particularly in the digestive systems that can cause impactions and obstructions.
Backward movements
The processes in their digestive systems also have these backward movements, which can exacerbate the condition when an impaction occurs.
Blood thirsty
The road where their blood travels through is so long and narrow that impactions can occur. It also has a lot of twists and turns that it is not surprising that they are susceptible to obstructions. When this happens, the horse can die because blood flow will stop and supply of oxygen to the heart will cease.
Horses are very sensitive to the bacteria that come into their bodies especially those that go into their intestines. The bacteria balance in their bodies is so sensitive that a change in their food or in the supplements that they take in can cause disruptions.

Treatment for Equine Colic

Animals are prone to various diseases. Some of these may leave permanent damage while others are fatal. One example, which could go either way, is equine colic.  This happens when the horse experiences pain in the abdomen and things can get worse if medical attention is not administered  immediately.
If the doctor has not arrived yet, the person can do certain things, which can help in the treatment. This includes taking the temperature and monitoring the heart rate, recalling what kind of food was given the past few days as well as the water consumption and  checking the color of the gums.
The veterinarian may be on call elsewhere so until help arrives, no food must be given to the horse. It will also be a good idea to walk the animal so it will not think about the pain. If the creature does not want to get up but it still continues to roll on the ground, everyone should help out and transfer the horse elsewhere so it does not inflict any damage to itself or others.
The doctor will usually give the horse some antibiotics. This will help ease the pain and it is a wait and see game after that to see if there are any improvements. Some horses recover quickly while there are those that don’t so this really depends on the animal.
There are other experts who have a  natural treatment formula to treat equine colic. Instead of using drugs, herbs are used instead. Some examples of these are cape aloe leaf, ginger root, fennel, wild yam root and cayenne powder. This is mixed together with water or some alcoholic formula and then given to the horse.
Prevention of course is still the best way against any disease. This is because the cost of medicine and the professional fees of a doctor are quite expensive. Here are a few things that horse owners should do to prevent equine colic.
1. First, the person should watch the food being served to the horse. Processed grains from a reliable supplier are ideal when raising such a magnificent animal. Some people think that hay is ok but it may have bugs or other foreign objects, which could cause problems. This should be checked before this is given.
2. Aside from checking for foreign objects in the hay, the individual should also have a parasite control program. This will make sure the stable is clean at all times even if this is washed thoroughly several times a week.
3. Horses need plenty of exercise to stay fit. A short ride or simply walking with it for a few minutes everyday can help strengthen its immune system. It will also need adequate rest. There must be time given to the horse to just roam around or just lie still in the stable.
4. All multivitamins or drugs that will be given to the horse must first be examined by the vet. This is because some may make the animal sick especially if it has a sensitive digestive system.
5. The person should also make sure the horse practices proper hygiene. This means giving it a bath and brushing its teeth since deposits may soon become infections that could get worse if nothing is done to treat it.

Distinguishing the signs of colic

Crying is the primal means of an infant to express him or herself. This is why it experts say that it is only a common occurrence if a baby cries often everyday. However, if an infant shows sudden irritability, excessive crying for more than 3 hours a day, and suffer from noticeable discomfort, then this could be a sign colic. 
Indeed, one of the difficult phases of parenting is dealing with the infant when he or she shows signs of colic—a severe abdominal pain caused by spasm, obstruction, or distention of any of the hollow viscera such as the intestines. Known as a common problem from the first three weeks up to first three months of a child' s life, colic is becoming one of the foremost concerns of more and more parents because they also experience and discomfort when their baby starts crying endlessly.
Usually evident from the first 3 weeks of an infant's life, colic consists of recurrent spasm and abdominal pain. This period of pain usually lasts from three hours up to 12 to 15 hours daily depending on the severity of the case.
When a baby suffers from colic, he or she becomes hypertonic and can show alternating body postures that involve contractions, sudden stretching, spastically stiffening while he or she turns red. When these signs occur, parents should start observing their babies intently because it might be a simple colic or can be signs of a more serious digestive problem.
Until now, doctors and people in the medical world have yet to discover the causes of colic in infants. Although, there have been various studies that indicate the possible causes of the condition that affects 20 percent of babies in the world. Researchers say that colic can originate in a baby’s intestines since he or she has sensitive and developing digestive and nervous system.
Others say that colic can be a result of some environmental factors like certain milk formulas and cow's milk for certain infants.
One of the most common signs of colic in infants is excessive crying with no apparent reason. Statistics show that 1 in every 10 babies experience colic because it is an apparent abdominal pain experienced in early infancy. Usually, colic attacks are evident before, during and after each meal. The cry usually starts out and can continue for 3 hours and more. Aside from loud and excessive crying, periods of irritability, and body contractions are also apparent signs of colic. Other signs of colic include:
Vigorous and excessive for long periods of time despite extreme efforts of consolation
Onset crying that starts around the same time everyday or night and can be ending or never-ending
- Suffers from gas discomfort
- Slight bloating of the abdomen
- Has a hard and bloated stomach
- Unlikely and patterned body contortions like pulling of knees to the chest
- Hard-clenched fists
- Flailing arms and legs
- Arched back
- Frequent sleeplessness
- Chronic irritability
- Unreasonable fussiness
- Reddening face due to ling periods of crying
- Excessive belching or spitting up after feeding
- Passing gas
- Experience difficulty in passing stools
This list includes only the usual signs of colic. It is best if you visit a doctor once you see these symptoms in your baby so you can be sure that he or she is not experiencing more serious illness as early as now.

What is right colic flexure?

Time and again, people are always overwhelmed by terms they don’t know but are quite important for them to fully understand. Most of these terms stem from medical and scientific fields that seem complicated but in reality, they are just simple things that you need to familiarize yourself with so you will gain enough information once an emergency situation arises.
Today, more and more people are becoming interested in discovering and rediscovering terms so they can supply themselves wit knowledge. Aside from scientific terms and jargons, one of the fields where people become interested in discovering terms and jargons is in the field and branches of medicine. These people find exposing themselves to medical terms because they might benefit from it in the future.
One of the terms that people are not familiar with but is quite simple is hepatic flexure or the "right colic flexure." Also known as "flexura hepatis," right colic flexure is part of a person's body that refers to bend of the colon at the juncture of its ascending and transverse portions. Also known as "hepatic flexure," right colic flexure refers to the junction of the ascending and transverse part of the large bowel that is situated anterior to the lower part of the right kidney and inferior to the right lobe of the liver. 
In a person's body, there in lies two flexures associated that are associated with the colon: the right colic flexure or hepatic flexure or left colic flexure or splenic flexure. The right colic flexure is basically the place in a person's colon where the ascending colon turns to become the transverse colon. In usual graphical presentations, right colic flexure is placed adjacent to the liver and is visible but not labeled because this is considered as a minor part that is not likely to affect in the overall function of each body part while the left colic flexure is placed near the spleen.
Being a bend in the colon, knowledge about right colic flexure should be given more attention because serious illnesses can root from it. Some of these diseases and possible illnesses may include hepatitis inflammation of the hepatic flexure, hepatocellular diseases, hepatojugular reflux (HJR), hepatolenticular degeneration, hepatoma, hepatomegaly, hepatosplenomegaly, herniorrhaphy and the like.
Among the so many complications that can be associated with the right colic flexure, gallbladder denocarcinoma extending to liver cancer. The process in curing this illness may include what they call kidney knfiltration with PMN and plasma. This process includes the transverse colon extending from the splenic flexure to the hepatic flexure. Using endoscope in the transverse colon, the process tries to negotiate with the hepatic flexure so it may loop up into the area of a person's diaphragm. From here, the licenses physician will have to pull may the endoscope back so it can reduce the loop.
Another disease that can be associated with right colic flexure is called the perforated colon cancer. This kind of cancer of the hepatic flexure is perforated and produces bacterial peritonitis with abundant bile as well. Aside from the right colic flexure, other areas affected may include the caecum, the ascending colon, the transverse colon, and the left colic flexure.
For those people who know somebody that suffer from complications of right colic flexure, extensive research is a must. Aside from in-depth research, he or she should also encourage the patient to attend regular visits to the doctor and follow specific instructions in curing the illness.

What You Need To Know About Renal Colic

Renal colic is a type of pain that can be commonly caused by developing kidney stones. The pain usually starts around the kidney area or somewhere below it and can radiate through the flank until the pain reaches the bladder. The pain can be colicky in nature which means that it can come in irregular waves or intervals as opposed to being a steady continuous pain feeling.
Renal colic may come in two types: dull and acute. The acute type of renal colic is particularly the most unpleasant and has been described by sufferers as one of the strongest pain sensations felt. The pain may also depend on the type and size of the kidney stone or stones that move through the urinal tract. Depending on the situation, the pain may at times be stronger in the renal or bladder area or it can be equally strong in both. Larger stones may require medical intervention for their removal in order to get rid of the pain associated with it.
Renal colic also shows some particular signs and symptoms that can help alert the individual as well as the doctor. These symptoms usually refer to the different types symptoms experienced by patients as studied. Some may or may not be experienced by the patient and all of the symptoms may not even be evident which depend on the current condition of the patient.
Some patients of renal colic may experience severe urinary pain. They may also have difficulty passing urine due to the kidney stones blocking the path. Patients may also fell waves of pain coming from the back and radiating to the abdomen, genitals and thighs. Pain in the small of the back can also be experienced. Renal colic may also be associated with symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
Renal colic patients may also show signs of having a swollen abdomen that may be causing the intense pain being felt. Other renal colic symptoms that have been observed by doctors include fever and chills. Serious symptoms of renal colic may also include blood being found in the urine which may show that the kidney stones may already have wounded parts of the urinary tract.
In most cases, renal colic may go away on its own. Most of the small stones in the kidney or bladder easily pass spontaneously through the urinary tract and may be discharged naturally. In such cases, only pain management for renal colic is required. In order to relieve this type of pain, a strong Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, also commonly known as NSAID can be used. NSAID's are known to provide better pain relief than most opiate-based medication.
There are also other ways of dealing with the pain associated with renal colic. Trying to lie down on the non-aching side of the body and applying a hot water bottle or towel into the area affected by the pain may greatly help ease some of the pain. If the pain caused by renal colic is not that intense, frequent walking may help result in a more speedy release of the stones.
But if the kidney stones have become too large to effectively pass through naturally, surgery to remove them may be required. If not, patients may continue to feel the recurring pain which may not be relieved effectively by other measures.

Colic in Newborns

After nearly nine months of staying in the mother’s womb, an infant is finally brought out into the world. It is here that the job of both parents becomes challenging, as a baby will cry for more than three hours daily making it impossible to get the much-needed rest.
Doctors refer to the long excessive crying of a newborn as Colic. Until now, research is unable to pinpoint why this happens. There are various theories that explain this.
The first is when the baby ingests air during breastfeeding. Another claims that the infant is drinking too fast which leads to gastrointestinal pain.  It is also possible that the food being eaten by the mother is the cause while some claim that the baby’s newborn’s immune system is not yet able to adapt to life outside the womb.
Regardless of what caused it, doctors believe that this is very common among newborn children. This means there is nothing to worry about since this will gradually disappear in the next few months.
Parents should take it as the first step in nurturing and caring for a child. Some believe that if this did not happen, the period of adjustment will be more difficult.
There is single solution to take care of a colic baby. Sometimes, this idea will work while at times it doesn’t. Here are some of the things that parents can try to find out if it works on the child.
1. If the newborn is in the crib, perhaps getting it out and holding or rocking it in one’s arms can do the trick. Sometimes singing a song is effective, as the baby will once again fall asleep.
2. Making the baby burp after breastfeeding can also prevent the infant from waking up.
3. The baby may be hungry so it is time to breastfeed. If the infant is full and the arms are sore from carry, maybe going for a ride in the car or in the carriage can make it go away.
4. The baby’s sensitivity to noise can make it wake up again and cry. This can be prevented by not making too sounds. Playing a CD of classical music can help make the infant get enough rest.
5. Giving the newborn a warm bath can also help it stop crying. The parent should make sure it is not too hot because this could be too much for the infant’s skin.
6. It is never too late to give the newborn a pacifier. This will make the baby think that it is still sucking onto the mother’s breast when it is feeding time.
7. Since Colic is associated with gas pains, the parents can also try using Simethicone drops, which has been proven to be effective for making the newborn stop crying.
8. Lastly, the mother should make some changes in the diet. This is because the food being consumed may produce gas, which is converted to milk and passes to the child. 
Colic is nothing serious because it is not even classified as a disease or a disorder. It is part of the growing phase of becoming a parent until the newborn is able to stand and even speak for itself. This is just one of the many challenges that anyone will face should the couple decide to have a family.

Natural Remedies for Colic

Colic is a normal phase in the life of a baby during the first few weeks until the third or fourth month. Doctors believe that the excessive crying makes parents more aware of the responsibility of raising a child.
There is no miracle drug that can help treat colic babies. Parents will just have to face it until the child is able to adapt to the new environment and use some natural remedies along the way.
One of the simplest ones parents can use is music. This is probably the reason why lullabies were invented and those who don’t have a singing voice can get the same thing on compact disc. This should be placed whenever the infant is in the crib, which can help it, sleep comfortably.
Another natural remedy is the diet that the mother is having. Certain foods produce gas and when this is converted to milk, it is like passing on the same thing to the child. A dietitian can make a plan so this will not happen.
If the mother is no longer breastfeeding and is relying on milk concentrates, perhaps switching to soymilk instead of the regular kind can help the colic baby. 
Some parents think that the infant can survive on breast milk alone in the first few months. Babies also need water and this should be checked before giving it to the child. A good way to do this will be to read the ingredients on the side of the product label.
When a colic baby is crying, parents will normally carry the child. This works but since motion comforts most infants. If the mother is having a hard time carrying the baby, another way to do this will be to go out of the house.
The woman can put the baby in a carriage or strap it to the car seat so both mother and child can spend quality time in the park or for a joyride.
Babies at a young age also get stressed out. Giving the infant a massage, a warm bath or using aromatherapy can help comfort the infant. The individual can also use a hot bag and put this on the belly and making sure that the water is not too hot.
Babies are colic because of the new environment. No one can blame the infant especially when the home has been the mother’s womb for the first nine months. In order for the baby to slowly adjust, parents can try swaddling or holding the infant close to the chest. This will make the baby reminisce how it was like before.
The various natural remedies are effective. This may not work all the time so the parents should try something different or a variation when things have not improved.
There are of course medications available that can treat colic babies. Parents should consult with the doctor first which one will do the trick before administering it to the infant.
Parents should not panic if the child is classified as colic. This is because it is not a disorder and this is a good indication that the baby is normal. Both the mother and father should be ready for some hard days ahead since there will be a lot of sleepless nights making one feel very exhausted.