Will a Horse with Colic Poop?

Will a horse with colic poop? Colic, being a common disease in horses, is widely associated with poop, or lack thereof, to determine if the horse is colicing. Even though most horsemen believe the contrary, poop is not as definitive the answer as you might think.

Horses are naturally prone to colic and it is a loosely defined term with several meanings. There are different types of colic that are often unpredictable and frequently unpreventable.

A Horse, on average, produces about 50 pounds of manure daily. Imagine how painful it would be if the horse can not pass the stool.

We bet you have a lot of questions about horse poop and colic, so, without further ado, let’s answer them straight away.

Will a Horse With Colic Poop?

It may confuse you even more but colicky horses can poop but lack of poop is one of the symptoms of colic. Colic generally means abdominal pain whereas constipation can cause a form of colic. These two terms are used interchangeably which makes the horsemen slightly confused as to what to interpret.

Colic is a bad word in the equine world associated with surgeries, poor results, and recurrence for the horse’s owner.

Usually, it is the opposite but sometimes horses can pass the poop before the pain or stool that is present in the intestine after the blockage site.

Whether a horse can poop or not depends on the reason why the horse is experiencing colic.

If the blockage continues and is not treated promptly, prepare yourself for unpleasant consequences.

If the problem gets out of hand, the horse will not be able to eat and poop because of the blockage.

Did you know? Colic is one of the leading causes of death in horses in the US. Out of 9 million horses in the United States, 900,000 colic cases are reported each and over 60000 horses die from different forms of colic each year.

What To Do When Your Horse Has Colic?

Horses like to roll frequently when they have a gas build-up which can cause a serious injury.

If the symptoms are mild, take them to an open area, let them walk for a while. When early on in colic, walking can provide pain relief, encourage motility, and prevent cramps.

Poop Can Help Diagnose Colic

Poop can be used as a diagnostic tool to help figure out why the horse is experiencing colic.

If you suspect the horse is colicing and exhausted all the remedies, call the vet immediately. While waiting for the vet, monitor if / when he has been pooping.

If the horse poops, leave it for the vet to examine and find clues.

Colic happens as a result of gas, grain overload, impaction, sand ingestion, and parasitic infection. The vet can look at the poop and explain what’s the cause.

The increased number of worms might be an indicator that a high worm load is causing the issue. Sand colic would likely be the cause if the vet finds sand in the poop.

The evidence collected and information obtained from the horse will help the vet determine the treatment.


How to Prevent Poop-Related Colic Problems?

Depending on the severity of the problem, horses may recover quickly by responding well to laxatives and other remedies. Follow these measures to treat this problem

Let the Horse Graze on Fresh Grass

The horse might not be pooping because it has some appetite left. Try grazing it on fresh, lawn grasses to get the horse to poop. This measure can provide some results for the vet as well.

Regular Fecal Analysis

It helps the horse owner diagnose the problem before it becomes a problem and can prevent colic timely. Worm loads are a common cause of colic in horses, monitoring the poop daily makes you well aware of the worm count.

Examine the worms, research their species, and choose the horse wormers accordingly. It will also help you and the vet be more informed on the deworming choice. Fecal analysis can help detect the excessive quantity of sand in the horse stool. While you can not prevent intake of 100% sand for any horse but can reduce it significantly.

Offer Supplements

On the recommendation of the vet, feed vitamin E, selenium, or electrolyte regularly, for a few weeks, or once a while. Learn how to cope with selenium deficiency and EPM in horses.

Make Feed Changes Gradually

Most horsemen make abrupt feed changes without caring about the consequences. When introducing a new type of hay, grain, supplement, or a snack, do it gradually, see if it sits well with the horse’s digestive system.

When Should You Consult The Vet For Colic?

It is ideal to contact the vet early on in the colic so that it can be treatable. After practicing all the remedies, give the vet a call, and follow his instructions. If the horse is still in pain, call the vet for one on one examination.

As a wise horse owner, you should be aware of any early signs of colic. This problem is unpreventable and repeatable and it can point towards other issues as well besides gastro. It involves reproductive, kidney, bladder, and bone, and joint problems.

How to Treat Horses Diagnosed with Colic?

Upon examination, the vet will diagnose the problem and treat it accordingly. There are more than one ways to treat colic depending on the severity of the disease.

In the early stages, pain relief medication and laxatives for impaction will work just fine. In the advanced stage, electrolytes/fluid therapy antispasmodics for spasmodic colic, and surgery for cases of twisted gut, strangulation, and displacement.

Most vets prefer to hold off surgery as long as possible and use it as a last resort. If the blockage does not free up, there is nothing but the surgery left to save the horse’s life.

Final Thoughts

Most equestrians diagnose colic when the horse is not pooping. It is undoubtedly one of the signs of colic but that does not mean that a colic horse can not poop. A horse owner can foresee the episode of colic and prevent it timely by examining the poop.


Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

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