Definition of Colic

From the elephant glossary Section: pathology

Relevant Literature about Colic
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From EAZA Elephant Best Practice Guidelines 2020 Colic refers to any abdominal pain and as such, can result from pain within an abdominal organ but, more often than not, it is in the gastrointestinal tract. Spasmodic colic, Bloat, impaction, Constipation, mesenteric tears, and infectious causes (including EEHV) have all been reported. Colic can occur after sudden dietary changes, and although not common, ingestion of large amounts of earth, sand, or stones can also cause problems. Colic can also be secondary to dental problems. Treatment is dependent upon the cause but symptomatic therapy including pain relief and fluid therapy are commonly used. Behaviours symptomatic of colic and labour can look similar. Behaviours indiciative of colic may include Trunk kept in mouth, stretching hind legs, looking for support of a hind leg, crossing a hind leg while gnashing with the head kept lower than normal.

EAZA Elephant Best Practice Guidelines 2020

From Biology, Medicine, and Surgery of Elephants, 2006 by Murray Fowler, Susan K. Mikota

Many of the clinical signs of colic resemble those seen in horses. Signs include restlessness, stretch ing, rolling or assuming a bowing posture, abdominal distension, lack of defecation, biting the Trunk tip, groaning, and tenesmus. If left untreated, dehydration ensues rapidly due to reluctance to drink. Dehydration is quickly followed by intestinal stasis, electrolyte imbalance, endotoxic shock, and circulatory collapse. The condition may quickly result in recumbency and death.

Treatment involves administering pain-relieving Medications such as flunixin meglumide or butorphanol tartrate. If the animal is willing to eat upon diminishment of pain, a mixture
of mineral oil and bran may be helpful in relieving the obstruction and stimulating evacuation. Warm water enemas may be helpful in relieving distal obstructions.

Biology, Medicine, and Surgery of Elephants, 2006 by Murray Fowler, Susan K. Mikota

Reference list Koehl, Dan, (2024). Colic. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 20 September 2021 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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  • Biology, Medicine, and Surgery of Elephants, 2006 by Murray Fowler, Susan K. Mikota

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Categories glossary | pathology

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