Horse Health Concerns

This letter recently arrived at World of Pets:

Recently, we have noticed that our horse has been sweating a lot more and faster than usual. It gets tired faster, it has a slightly weaker appetite. He can sweat in the barn while he is resting. Is it possible that this is a disease or is it possibly caused by the age of the horse (12 years).
What is a colic?
Thank you!

Based on the symptoms described, I cannot reliably conclude what the problem is. Age is definitely out of the question because the horse is not old, namely the life span of the horse is about 20 or even more years, and even the old horse does not sweat while standing in a box or sweat normally when working at his age. From the information in question, I can only assume three situations in which the horse may be located. Or he still has a thick winter coat and the barn is warm, so because of the high temperatures (which were above average in early April) he is sweating because he is hot, or the horse is sick or has colic.

If he is sweating even now (when the temperatures are lower) it is most likely a disease. A third possibility is that the horse had colic. I can see from the question that the owner (fortunately) had no experience with colic yet. How many painful abdominal (abdominal) cramps are caused by indigestion, and can be mild to the extent that they end with the death of the horse due to bowel obstruction.


The symptoms are quite clear: the horse is nervous, sweating, not eating or just a little, does not have a chair or just a little, and in stronger cases he lies down and rolls, but not like a healthy horse does, but in that roll he throws himself in the box uncontrollable which is caused by the severe pain that the horse suffers. In milder cases, colic spontaneously pass, but if it becomes complicated, surgery is required, but unfortunately even then the horse is not saved. It is very important to immediately notice and recognize the signs of colic and the horse immediately get out of the barn and walk until the symptoms have stopped and also immediately call a veterinarian to monitor the condition of the horse and intervene as needed.

If the described horse still does not improve, be sure to consult a veterinarian who has experience with horses and ask for a horse to be examined.

Otherwise, it would be easier for me to respond by giving me information about the horse by gender, breed, discipline for which the horse is intended (groin, dressage, recreation, etc.) and how much the horse works (daily or weekly). Also important is whether the horse eats normal and whether he has a normal stool: It is definitely necessary for the horse to measure the temperature, and to count the heart rate (pulse) and breathing per minute. These are parameters that, when not within normal limits, certainly indicate a health problem.

It may be best for me to give an overview of the aforementioned values ​​for orientation to those of our readers who are not familiar with it.


For foals up to 1 year temperature 38.0 to 39.0 C, up to 100 beats per minute; for horses up to 5 years temperature 37,5 – 38,5 C degrees 45-60 beats per minute, and for horses older than 5 years 37,5 – 38,0 beats up to 1 g 30-40 beats per minute For all horses breathing is 10 – 15 breaths per minute, except for foals where it is faster.

The information given is only valid if measured in horses at rest. Temperature is measured rectally.