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colic,intense pain caused by spasmodic contractions of one of the hollow organs, e.g., the stomach, intestine, gall bladder, ureter, or oviduct. The cause of colic is irritation and/or obstruction, and the irritant and/or obstruction may be a stone (as in the gall bladder or ureter), an irritant food or gas (in the stomach and intestines), appendicitis, or implantation of an embryo in an oviduct. Intestinal colic in infancy is sometimes attributed to gas formed by excessive swallowing of air or inadequate digestion of milk. Treatment of colic is relative to the cause.
a paroxysm of acute spasmodic abdominal or retroperitoneal pain. There are various forms, including hepatic and renal colic, which are caused primarily by stones; vermicular colic; intestinal colic, which is caused by fecaliths and certain diseases; and pancreatic colic, which is a symptom of pancreatitis and pancreatic calculi. The pain associated with colic is due to prolonged spasm of the orbicular muscles of the intestinal walls, the biliary tract, and the ureter. Colic may also occur when portions of the intestine are distended by gases. It is accompanied by vomiting and worsening of the general condition. It may last from several minutes to several hours.
In animals a distinction is made between true colic, which occurs in diseases of the stomach and intestine, and false colic, which accompanies certain infectious diseases and pathological changes in the bladder, liver, and other organs. The seizures vary in duration, lasting from several minutes to several hours. The animals shift from leg to leg, paw the ground, lie down, roll about, and assume a variety of unnatural positions. Treatment and preventative measures include the use of pain relievers and the elimination of the causes of the disease responsible for the colic.
REFERENCEVnutrennie nezaraznye boleznii sel’skokhoziaistvennykh zhivotnykh. Moscow, 1967.
A. M. KOLESOV