Over the past five years, vet Stephen Ashdown has written many articles, spoken on equine matters and contributed widely to horse magazines.

Here he reproduces in the form of questions and answers about 100 topics, all of them common problems which afflict horses.

To access Topics click on Vet Advice Menu.

Can her Hormones cause Colic?
Q Can you shed some light on a problem for us. The mare we have on loan has had two bouts of colic - both when she was in season.

In fact, both happened during her first proper season of the year. She is fine for the other 11 months of the year. Is there anything herbal we can give her?

A It certainly sounds like your mare's colic is related to change in hormone levels at the time of oestrus.

Rises in oestrogen can cause many different reactions in the body. It is always difficult to know exactly why mares experience pain at such time and many certainly do have quite severe problems that carry on throughout the year

You are lucky that it occurs only on the first season, even tough it does sound quite dangerous. One can guess that some of the pain associated with seasons is due to changes in tone and tension of some of the soft tissues within the abdomen (belly). There may well be adhesions between different parts of the womb and associated structures that are stretched and cause pain.

In your case, it may be that such adhesions are broken down after the first seasons but then reform when the season is finished. There are a number of products that are used to soothe the effect of hormonal changes in mares. These products can be very effective and could be given for a month or so before seasons usually start.


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