Examining the mucous membranes of the conjunctiva and gingiva are critical parameters in the assessment of a patient presented for colic. The color of the mucous membranes in a colicky horse may vary from pale pink to brick red to cyanotic blue to purple. A colicky horse can have normal mucous membranes. Simple obstructive or spasmodic colics rarely show degenerative changes in the color or refill time of the mucous membranes. Changes in color are most likely associated with vascular strangulating lesions which cause hypovolemic changes due to fluid redistribution.
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