Oakham Veterinary Hospital Equine are one of 62 veterinary practices across the UK who have become Vet REACT Colic Champions, in a new scheme coordinated by The British Horse Society and The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham. Here at OVH Equine, we will be working closely with both organisations over the next year to share information and advice from the REACT colic campaign on how to recognise and react to signs of colic as quickly as possible to give your horse the best chance of recovering.

Colic is the most common veterinary emergency in the horse. Most cases are mild and can be resolved with simple treatment, but a small percentage are critical or life-threatening. These critical cases will need rapid decision-making by both the vet and owner.

The REACT colic campaign includes a poster of the most common signs of colic, and ten fact sheets on colic ‘essentials’:

1. What is colic?

2. Recognising signs of colic

3. Reducing the risk of colic

4. Emergency decision-making

5. How to take a horse’s temperature, pulse and breathing rate

6. Waiting for the vet to arrive

7. The vet’s examination of the horse

8. Rectal examination

9. Nasogastric intubation

10. What happens at referral?

Over the next year, we will be holding two talks on the key REACT messages, and also sharing information through our website and Facebook page. The free REACT packs and guides will be available in our reception areas and also available at our client evenings, so please drop in and pick up some copies.

 The Nottingham colic project started in 2012, to generate evidence to build the REACT campaign. OVH Equine were involved from the start. Our practice contributed to a large study that generated new information on how often different types of colic occur, and how to recognise critical cases early. We are delighted to be continuing our involvement, and to be part of this new initiative to spread the REACT colic messages.

The REACT campaign provides essential information to help you understand the different causes of colic, how to recognise colic early, and how to plan ahead to make sure you give your horse the best chance of recovering. We look forward to sharing this information with you and making sure you are prepared.