This year's annual meeting of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) in Seattle, Wash., offers a myriad of educational opportunities for veterinarians and horse owners, and has a trade show that features new products and services for veterinarians.

For more information on educational opportunities, visit

Following is information from some of the companies attending the trade show

Abacus Services

In the past year, Abacus Surfaces has begun to promote a product, described as being unique, to not only the landscaping market but to the equine market as well. The product is Interlocking Rubber Pavers.

Coming in "dog bone" and "tile" forms, these Pavers can be used in barn aisleways, walkways, paddocks, and many other places. There are different styles and sizes.

The Pavers are constructed of recycled airplane tires and truck tread. They are made in four different colors--grey, red, black, and green. They come in two thicknesses and two different styles. The Standard Pavers are made up of thinner pieces of rubber, while the "Regrind" Pavers are constructed of the remaining material from Standard pavers.

The full 1 3/4-inch Pavers can be placed over stone dust and concrete without having to be adhered to anything. The split seven-eighths-inch Pavers need to be adhered to concrete. The Pavers are interlocked so tightly that movement is prevented.

For more information, call 800/821-4557 or visit or

Alberts Equine Dental Supply

Alberts was established in 1983 and remains a family owned and operated company. Alberts' new 900 Triple Cut Blade begins with a superfine to fine cut and graduates to a medium cut all in one blade.

The company's 700 and 705 solid carbide blades have improved rounded edges with bonding on stainless steel. The 700 and 705 are available in four cuts--superfine, fine, medium, or coarse.

Alberts offers free shipping for re-sharpening solid carbide float blades, with a
one-week turnaround.

Alberts Floats are available in starter sets with choices of three or five floats with or without wolf teeth instruments. They also offer a selection of full mouth speculums.

For more information in the United States and Canada, call 877/336-8258 or visit

Animal Reproduction Systems

For more than 25 years, Animal Reproduction Systems (ARS) has been developing and producing high-quality products for equine professionals. Featured in the ARS booth will be the 591a and 590a Equine Densimeters. These versatile machines are capable of measuring stallion semen concentrations and IgG levels in newborn foals.

ARS also produces a complete line of both cooled-shipment and frozen semen extenders. E-Z Mixin cooled semen extenders come in a variety of formulas designed to best fit the needs of equine professionals. E-Z Freezin freezing extender comes in two formulas--LE (Lactose EDTA) and MFR5 (modified French).

Animal Reproduction Systems offers a complete line of high--quality equipment and supplies for all aspects of equine reproduction.

For more information, call 800/300-5143 or visit

Auburn Labs

The use of APF (Advanced Protection Formula) to manage insulin resistance was first described in the October 2002 issue of the Horse Journal in the article "Cushing's or Not, Attack Insulin Resistance." After using APF in several horses in combination with dietary changes, the author concluded, "We found supplementation with APF can result in significant improvements in blood insulin levels, laminitic symptoms, and overall energy and appetite."

APF is a water-alcohol extract of Eleutherococcus senticosus, Schizandra chinensis, Rhodiola rosea, and Echinopanax. The active compounds of these herbs have been identified and their quantities standardized using HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography).

APF is recommended for horses of any age that are displaying signs of insulin resistance and as additional support for horses with Cushing's disease that are receiving pergolide as primary therapy.

APF is available from Auburn Laboratories, Inc., of Penn Valley, California.

For more information, call 877/661-3505 or visit

BDA Architecture

Since 1986, BDA Architecture has designed more than 400 innovative veterinary facilities for renovation, leaseholds, and new buildings. BDA offers design and design-build services through CMP, its in-house construction division. The approach is designed to deliver a high-quality, low-stress project within the client's budget.

For more information, call 505/858-0180 or visit

Body Fields USA

Body Fields USA developed and markets a three-step plan for equine performance and recovery. The three steps are designed to support natural repair and recovery by creating the crucial environment necessary for optimal cellular metabolism and long-term healing. The three steps include electromagnetic frequency therapy, oral supplement and topical gel, and controlled exercise.

The electromagnetic frequency therapy is provided by the Magnopro Equine unit, which was designed by Sherry Milligan, owner of Equine Alternative, Inc.

The topical gel Replenish n Repair Supplement & Gel is designed to nourish joints inside and out. It is made from pharmaceutical-grade ingredients. The formulation acts to aid bone and cartilage reconstruction and existing tissue health.

Included is a one-hour consultation on exercise with Milligan that is individualized for a specific horse and its problems.

For more information, call 847/299-9829 or visit

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., is dedicated to developing and manufacturing safe and effective products for the equine industry. Equine vets around the world, through Boehringer Ingelheim research, development, and educational offerings, obtain products and skills necessary to provide the highest quality service to their equine clientele. Products Boehringer has designed, manufactured, and marketed include Sedivet, the newest alpha-2 agonist for sedation and pre-anesthesia; Buscopan for equine colic; Calvenza respiratory vaccines; and Ventipulmin Syrup.

As an AAEP Educational Partner and sponsor of the Practice Management Seminar, Boehringer Ingelheim assists vets with professional development.

Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 152 affiliates in 45 countries and more than 34,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing, and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

For more information, call 800/325-9167 or visit

Classic Medical Supply

Classic Medical Supply started a revolution in veterinary ultrasound three years ago when they introduced the first digital notebook ultrasound system called the TeraVet2000. This powerful technology continues to offer high-frequency linear, convex, and phased array probes ranging from 2-10MHz to offer total horse imaging capability. The system offers color Doppler, direct digital storage of images and video clips in a variety of formats for maximum compatibility with Telemedicine, and data storage programs.

Classic Medical Supply has continued to grow with the introduction of the PC Notebook TelaVet1000 and the new TelaVet500 basic ultrasound for non-Doppler customers who want a PC-powered ultrasound machine.

The company also offers the four-pound PharVision MicroV10, featuring a 10-inch LCD monitor, variable frequency probes, and three-hour battery (rechargeable). Classic Medical Supply invites you to see the newest generation of Notebook ultrasound technology and to join their growing revolution.

For more information, call 800/722-6838 or visit

CM Equine Products

The Heal Belt, says Marge Spencer of CM Equine Products, is designed to provide the recovering horse with the most comfortable and effective belly bandage available.

The belt is a patented system and method treatment, which, says Spencer, has been proven to aid in prevention of post-surgical hernias, help reduce existing post-surgical hernias, and is now being used worldwide. It can be applied by one person. Sizes are available for miniatures through draft horses.

Also offered are the "Lead and Drive Foal Training System" and the "Formatting for Life" video series.

For more information, call 888/431-7771 or visit

Colorado Serum Company

Colorado Serum Company's most recent product introduction is West Nile Antibody Equine Origin for use as an aid in the control of disease due to West Nile virus (WNV) in horses.

WNV treatment is recommended when the disease is first detected in an unvaccinated horse or when a vaccinated horse gets the disease. Administered intravenously, Colorado Serum's West Nile Virus Antibody will provide immediate WNV antibody in the bloodstream, thus enhancing the animal's ability to fight and neutralize the virus.

Company officials also say that, unlike other WNV antibody treatments, their product is concentrated, purified, and ready to use straight from the bottle, offering veterinarians an easy and safe tool to treat WNV-infected horses.

The product is conditionally licensed and is for use by, or under the supervision of, a veterinarian. Additional efficacy and safety data are being developed.

For more information, call 800/525-2065 or visit

Court Square Leasing

Court Square Leasing Corp., a subsidiary of Provident Bank, would like to thank equine practitioners for the trust placed in their company and equipment leasing products and services. "We truly value our relationships with you."

More information: Visit Court Square Leasing at Booth #909, call 888/634-9140, or visit

Dandy Products

Dandy Products has been in business since 1989, concentrating its efforts on behalf of the equine and large animal
industry by manufacturing wall, floor, recovery and surgery padding. The manufacturing takes place in a plant located in Goshen, Ohio.

Dandy Products offers safety surfaces for recovery, exam, surgery, and barn aisleways. The company has a great variety of products to choose from "because no two facilities are the same."

One of the firm's most durable products is Vet-Trac, a two-layer system made of recycled rubber. It is advertised as a recovery room floor "you can install yourself."

For more information, call 513/625-3000 or visit

Diagnostic Imaging Systems

Diagnostic Imaging Systems is a leader in equine radiology with more than 22 years of service. The firm sees itself as the industry leader in high-quality, American-made portable digital X ray systems.

The company's Ultra-Light 90kV X ray units and patented positioning aids produce high-quality digital images in minutes. The mobile X ray examination table systems provide multi-functional versatility, plus produce similar maximum radiation output as a stationary system.

A new product is the Ultra-Light 90kV high-frequency portable X ray unit with dual laser pointers, small enough to fit in a lunch box and weighing only 19 pounds. With its built-in capacitor system, it can produce consistent exposures on weak line voltages as well as a 150-foot extension cord.

For more information, call 800/346-9729 or visit


EponaTech was formed in 2000 to develop software products for veterinarians, farriers, and horse owners. EponaTech's products are based on making accurate measurements in veterinary images and generating reports for tracking changes and communication among interested parties.

EponaTech produces the Metron-PX software product to help track conformation in the horse's hoof and leg using photos and/or radiographs. In the new release, version 3.0, the software can automatically combine photographs and radio-
graphs to show how the bones are aligned within the hoof.

The company also produces the Metron-U software, which is used with ultrasound images of equine tendons, performs computations, and formats reports.

The company says accurately measured pictures, with numerical measurements overlaid, are aiding the communication channels among veterinarians, farriers, trainers, and owners.

For more information, call 805/239-3505 or visit

EZ Animal Products

R.C. "Buck" Wheeler has developed the Udderly EZ Innovative (mare) Animal Milker. Wheeler said he was motivated to develop a mare milker after spending many late nights in the foaling barn, attempting to get colostrum from a mare. After five years of research and development, the milker was introduced to the market.

The Udderly EZ comes with a pump and two different sizes of colostrum collection tubes that screw onto two specially designed, clear, 16-ounce bottles. The tubes have been designed to fit the contour of the mare's udder. The bottles can double as banks in which to freeze the colostrum.

The kit also comes with a nipple, bottle cap, and 12 Udderly EZ Bag Wipes to clean off any dirt and bacteria that might have accumulated on the udder.

The Mare Milker is a hand-held, trigger-operated vacuum pump, which attaches onto a flanged plastic cylinder. The top of the cylinder is roll plastic and is non-
invasive to the bag or teats.

Wheeler says it takes two to three pumps on the unit to create a vacuum before the milk starts to flow into the bottle.

Wheeler also is the inventor of the Stableizer, a restraint for horses.

For more information, call 866/507-7773 or visit

Ferno Veterinary Systems

Ferno Veterinary Systems specializes in equine products that offer rehabilitation from injury and surgery with reduced recovery time of 50-60%, therapy for pain, and accelerated conditions for improved performance.

Ferno markets the AquaPacer Equine Underwater Treadmill System. The AquaPacer was developed to help athletes achieve peak performance. The system is used by veterinarians and trainers.

Ferno Veterinary Systems also offers the Intellect Vet and MedZone Vet Formula products. The Intellect Vet is listed by the company as the first modular therapy system that consolidates six therapeutic modalities into one system. MedZone's five formula products treat equine wounds and pain immediately, and continue treatment as the patient heals.

For more information, call 888/206-7802 or visit

Foalert, Inc.

The Foal-Alert system by Foalert, Inc., is described as a unique and reliable obstetrical device that has been used by vets, universities, and breeders for nearly 20 years. The system was developed by equine veterinarians seeking a safe and accurate way of monitoring mares at parturition.

A small transmitter is sutured across the mare's vulva prior to parturition. When activated by separation of the vulva, the transmitter sends a silent signal to the receiver, which sounds an audible alarm. The security auto dialer simultaneously notifies attendants via telephone.

A number of veterinarians now lease their Foal-Alert systems to their clients.

The Foal-Alert system is designed to ensure an attended birth, which can often be imperative for the health and well-being of both mare and foal.

For more information, call 800/237-8861 or visit


FOCUS-IT is the exclusive North American distributor for the latest technology in extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) equipment. ESWT enables the practitioner to provide an alternative, non-invasive treatment for acute and chronic disorders. The approach is designed to restore painless mobility, activate healing, and reduce recovery times.

FOCUS-IT is introducing what the company describes as the next generation of ESWT technology, the new Storz Medical Duolith SD1. It is the first portable combination shock wave therapy system for focused high-energy and standard ballistic ESWT, as well as the Storz Masterpuls MP100.

The application probes of new equipment are described as maintenance-free.

For more information, call 800-270-1141 or visit

Foxden Equine

Foxden Equine produces nutritional products formulated on scientific knowledge and based on years of experience.

Included in their products are:

Quiessence--A magnesium/chromium supplement designed to assist founder-prone horses with thick, cresty necks to reduce neck size and the risk of founder. It is also listed as being effective for nervous, tense horses.

LinPro--Designed to assist in accelerating hoof growth.

TractGard--Reduces acidity in the stomach and encourages the horse to drink, thereby increasing GI tract motility and comfort.

HyCel--Described as a breakthrough product for joint health.

Cush-Alleve--Provides help for horses with Cushing's disease. It is designed to reduce muscle loss, aid in hoof growth, and improve the horse's coat.

Other products include Muscle Mix, Foxden Flex, and Flex IR.

For more information, call 540/942-4500 or visit

Franklin-Williams Company

The Franklin-Williams Company has been a pioneer in the development of bandage products designed specifically for equine use. The company's products are available as individual, ready-to-use sterile (Steriroll) and non-sterile (Rediroll) bandages securely packaged to maintain integrity and provide a professional-looking product for dispensing to the client.

The material is also available as non-sterile bulk rolls (Combiroll) in 10-yard lengths. Steriroll and Rediroll are available in various lengths. The products are provided in widths of eight, 12, 14, and 16 inches.

The Equipwrap Trauma Kit offered by the company was developed in consultation with equine practitioners for use by horse owners for emergency treatment of cuts and abrasions on the leg until a wound care plan can be created by a veterinarian.

Manufacture and distribution of these products is the company's only business. They have been in operation for 10 years.

For more information, call 800/556-5517 or visit

Freedom Health

The Freedom Health Company says a healthy digestive tract is a major factor in peak performance. In optimal condition, it efficiently processes and absorbs the nutrients required for horses to maintain weight, build muscle, and generate the energy and stamina they need to train hard, perform well, and recover quickly.

However, the unavoidable stresses of the performance horse lifestyle--stalling, intermittent feeding, high-grain diet, training, travel, and competition--have a significant effect on digestive tract health. That's why Freedom Health created Succeed.

Succeed is described as a breakthrough in equine health management. This nutritional supplement is scientifically formulated with oat oil that is rich in polar lipids, oat flour with beta-glucan soluble oat fiber, yeast extracts, and amino acids working together to support the health of the entire digestive tract, especially during active training and competition.

Succeed is available in granules or oral paste from select retailers or through a vet.

For more information, call 866/270-7939 or visit

Global VetLink

Global VetLink, L.C. (GVL), headquartered in Ames, Iowa, is listed by company officials as the nationwide industry leader in online animal health applications. GVL has been providing online innovations in both the food and companion animal regulatory movements since 1999.

Currently available to state authorities, practitioners, and diagnostic labs through GVL are online Equine Infectious Anemia certificates, Official Certificates of Veterinary Inspection, and Veterinary Feed Directives.

Listed as the benefits of GVL's online applications are: Clean, clear, and professional forms for clients; real-time automatic submission of documents to the appropriate animal health authorities; digital photos of the animal on the certificate; storage of all eEIA and eHealth Certificates for future reference; access from any computer with an Internet connection 24 hours a day, seven days per week; real-time lab test submittal and result retrieval; access to online labs nationwide.

For more information, call 515/296-3779 or visit

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute/Hagyard Pharmacy

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, a renowned veterinary practice with more than 125 of experience in equine healthcare, operates Hagyard Pharmacy, a leader in providing the equine industry with an extensive range of quality pharmaceuticals, healthcare products, surgical supplies, and prescription compounding services.

Hagyard Pharmacy was developed by equine veterinarians and is staffed by licensed pharmacists and support personnel who specialize in equine health. At Hagyard, the stated mission remains to: Endeavor by all available means to provide excellence to the equine community.

At the AAEP Convention, Hagyard will be located in booths 1515 and 1516. For more information, call 888/323-7798 or visit

HMB Endoscopy

HMB Endoscopy Products buys, sells, and repairs flexible and rigid endoscopes for the equine veterinarian. The company also offers Olympus and Pentax compatible three-meter video gastroscopes in two diameters--12.7 mm and 9.8 mm.

For more information, call 800/659-5743 or visit

IMV International

IMV International Corp. is a division of IMV Technologies, a world leader in assisted reproductive technologies. The core business involves designing and manufacturing complete product lines that meet animal assisted reproduction industry demands.

The company's knowledge and expertise come from years of field practice and research partnerships with various universities, research institutions, and government organizations worldwide. This expertise is put to work for the benefit of producers, breeders, and genetic conservation on an ongoing, everyday basis.

IMV is dedicated to innovative research in the reproduction of horses and many other species. They invite veterinarians to stop by their booth at the AAEP convention to see their products and meet their equine representative.

For more information, call 800/342-5468 or visit

Kane Enterprises

Kane Enterprises Inc. recently introduced the Horse-Slip, a flexible plastic (PVC) shoe that expands at the heels when the hoof contacts the ground, enabling the frog of the hoof to be fully utilized in reducing concussion. For horses with soft horn, the use of these glue-on shoes will eliminate damage caused by nails pulling through the horn and breaking off parts of the wall.

Furthermore, the Horse-Slip shoe will expand to accommodate the growth of the hoof. The shoe can be adapted to be used therapeutically for animals that have a variety of chronic deformities such as dropped soles, laminitis, and solar abscesses. They also can be used to correct angular limb deformities in newborn foals. Horse-Slips have proven successful, particularly as an adjunct to the treatment of acute laminitis.

The method of manufacture (spiral extrusion) makes the price of Horse-Slips very competitive. The shoe has proven to provide the ideal solution to protect the hooves of horses not in work, such as broodmares, resting/retired competition horses, and companion ponies.

For more information, contact your animal health supplier or Kane Enterprises at 800/336-8577 or visit

Kinetic Technologies

Kinetic Technologies is a privately owned nutraceutical supplement manufacturer headquartered in Lexington, Ky. Founded in 1999 by two veterinarians widely recognized in the industry, the company has since evolved into a well-rounded organization providing products for the veterinary, animal health, human health, and wound/skin care industries.

The company, which began as a small regional business, has grown into a worldwide presence. They conduct business with various distribution outlets throughout North America as well as in Europe, Asia, South America, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia.

In providing the highest quality products, Kinetic Technologies is committed to research. Their research and development team consists of some of the most respected scientists in their profession. Their goal is to continue to provide clients with safe, well-researched, and innovative products.

For more information, call 877/786-9882 or visit


There are no magic bullets to get rid of all flies in an agricultural operation, say officials of Kunafin Insectary. However, Kunafin has been working on getting rid as many as possible since 1959 by creating biologically integrated insect management programs for individuals as well as major agri-businesses.

Kunafin officials feel the first, most
important defense against pest insect problems involves the utilization of beneficial insects. For example, fly parasites are tiny wasps, harmless to humans and animals, which are released in moist areas where flies congregate to reproduce.

There will never be one method to solve all fly problems, company officials say, and one should always think in terms of a total fly management program.

This can involve the following approaches:

1) Beneficial insects--proper release and distribution.

2) Chemicals--using residual wall spray to kill incoming flies.

3) Killing adults--using baits, traps, and lure.

4) Management--general cleaning of barns, stalls, pens, and surrounding areas.

For more information, call 800/832-1113 or visit


MacKinnon's Ice Horse cold therapy wraps and inserts are the first step in horse leg care. They provide two hours of frigid cooling with custom, form-fitting tendon, cannon, hock, hoof, and knee-to-ankle wraps, cold-powered by the patented reusable, re-freezable inserts that also can be used as hot compresses. These wraps are useful for the endurance, trail, and three-day event rider who is away from home and freezer. Efficacy with simplicity is assured.

MacKinnon also distributes Healing Tree Topical Management System products, which are an adjunct treatment for scratches, wounds, abrasions, and general grooming purposes.

For more information, visit the MacKinnon booth during the AAEP convention; call 800/786-6633, or visit


Merial delivers equine products that enhance the health and well-being of horses around the world. Consistent with this approach, attendees at the AAEP Convention in Seattle can expect to see the company's products front and center at the annual gathering.

Merial has the first and only FDA-approved preventive for gastric ulcers, as well as the only FDA-approved medication to treat ulcers.

Recently published research has shown that horses in normal, low-key "show" conditions can develop ulcers in as few as five days.

For more on the outstanding line of products from Merial, visit us at our booth at the AAEP Convention.

For more information, call 888/637-4251 or visit

MG Biologics

MG Biologics Inc. is a USDA-licensed producer of equine plasma and antibody products. MG Biologics now has what it describes as the first and only Streptococcus equi antibody product for passive immunity in clinically ill horses after the onset of disease.

MG Biologics also researches a variety of antibodies as well as antibody products designed to support the horse during stressful health situations. The company's theory is that IV transfusion is beneficial and efficacious both after the exposure to a challenge and after the onset of clinical signs, and it can reduce the duration and severity of clinical illness, or even arrest the disease entirely.

MG Biologics also produces High-Glo, a USDA-approved equine IgG product, and ImmunoGlo Normal Equine Plasma.

For more information, call 515/769-2340 or visit

Neogen Corporation

Neogen Corporation's Animal Safety Division develops and markets a comprehensive line of animal care products, ranging from consumer-friendly instruments and nutritional supplements to wound care and grooming products that are available at farm and ranch retailers. Also included are precision instruments and pharmaceuticals for veterinarians.

Neogen's products include the unique BotVax B equine botulism vaccine that has been used successfully on many horses and foals; Ideal Instruments' disposable needles; and Chondro-Oral, a complete joint support feed supplement for the creation of new body tissue and cartilage growth in horses and dogs.

For more information, call 800/525-2022 or visit

Nutramax Laboratories

Nutramax Laboratories Inc., Veterinary Science Division, manufactures Cosequin, listed by the company as the number one veterinarian-recommended joint health supplement brand.

Since 1992, many veterinarians have used Cosequin to manage joint health in equine patients as well as small animals.

Cosequin is listed by Nutramx as being the only glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate brand that has been shown to be safe, effective, and bioavailable in horses in published, controlled U.S. studies.

For more information, call 800/925-5187 or visit


Charles Pfizer and Company opened for business in 1849 as a fine-chemicals business, and the company has been growing rapidly since. Pfizer is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world, developing and manufacturing pharmaceuticals for humans and animals.

In 1862, the first U.S. production of tartaric acid and cream of tartar was launched by Pfizer. In 1900, the company filed for incorporation in New Jersey, and by 1910 its sales totaled nearly $3 million. In 1954, oxytetracycline, the purely synthetic broad-spectrum antibiotic, discovered and developed by Pfizer, went on the market under the trade name of Tetramycin.

The company has continued to grow, with a strong emphasis on research. For example, its Sandwich Laboratories in Sandwich, England, employs more than 2,700 scientists and is the largest research and development site of any foreign-owned company in the United Kingdom. Pfizer Animal Health also purchased CSL Animal Health in Melbourne, Australia, for $126.2 million.

More information: See

Plasvacc USA, Inc.

Plasvacc USA produces a line of equine plasma products that are licensed by the USDA and/or the California Department of Agriculture.

Polymune is designed to combat a wide variety of equine illnesses and infections, such as failure of passive transfer, Rhodococcus equi foal pneumonia, endotoxemia, Clostridium botulinum toxicosis, and West Nile virus exposure.

As part of its consumer service, Plasvacc USA has a staff veterinarian who is available for consultation.

The company is located on the central coast of California at Templeton. All plasma orders placed before 2 p.m. PST will be shipped priority overnight to arrive at the veterinary clinic the following morning anywhere in the United States.

Plasvacc also has an affiliate company in Australia.

For more information, call 800/654-9743 or visit

Platform Feeding System

Farnam Companies has introduced the Platform Feeding System, a system consisting of four premium feeds, as well as complementary equine health supplements. The approach allows the horse owner to address each horse's individual nutritional needs without the possible negative side effects of over-supplementation.

The feeds and equine health supplements are listed by the company as being unique and scientifically formulated by equine nutritionists based on the latest research. The feeds are designed to address each horse's nutritional needs based on his life stage and exercise level. The equine health supplements are formulated to help manage specific conditions and do not duplicate Platform Feed ingredients. When the feed and supplements are given together, they are designed to complement each other. The targeted supplements also are capable of reducing waste and feeding expense, with the ultimate goal being to design a feeding program to meet a horse's individual needs.

For more information, call 602/207-2141 or visit

Platinum Performance

The relationship between Platinum Performance and veterinarians is centered on the development of a series of interventional veterinary nutrition materials designed to help both AAEP members and other veterinarians understand the healing process from a nutritional standpoint.

As a veterinarian-owned company, Platinum Performance has dedicated itself to providing fellow veterinary practitioners with high-quality and effective preventive and interventional nutritional products.

Platinum Performance has partnered with AAEP to provide cutting-edge nutritional education for veterinarians and their clients. Through its Platinum Vet program, the company provides veterinarians with the latest scientific research, a complete product line, and practice-building solutions designed to promote the veterinarian-client relationship.

Their product line includes its foundation product, Platinum Performance Equine Wellness and Performance Formula. Their line also consists of the intestinal absorbent Bio-Sponge, and the joint support and pain management formula Ortho-Chon.

For more information, call 800/553-2400 or visit

Purina Mills

Purina Mills has a rich history of research and development that has produced innovative equine nutritional products, including Equine Senior, Strategy, Nature's Essentials, and Ultium, a new competition horse formula.

Purina also has a long history of supporting AAEP educational projects. Along with the development of several AAEP client educational brochures on nutrition, Purina's Horse Owner's Workshops (HOW) and Horse Health Fairs held around the country each year bring owners, AAEP veterinarians, and Purina Gold dealers together. Purina is the exclusive sponsor of the AAEP Student Programs, which are focused on providing state-of-the-art educational programs to veterinary students in AAEP Student Chapters.

In addition to this sponsorship each year, Purina also hosts its own Equine Veterinary Conference, where more than 350 veterinarians and senior vet students attend.

This commitment provides support for educational programs at the Annual Convention and year-round support for student chapter educational activities, including the AAEP/AFA Farrier Short Course program.

For more information, call 800/227-8947 or visit

Rusty Brown Enterprises

Rusty Brown has developed a unique line of equine-themed jewelry reflecting his career as a farrier. A longtime member of the American Farrier's Association, Rusty developed an interest in gold and silversmithing as a teenager watching Navajo craftsmen in his native Arizona.

He now lives and works in southern California, making the miniature horseshoes and shoeing equipment for which he has become well-known.

At his booth #430 at the AAEP Convention in Seattle, Rusty will have a wide range of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, money clips, and buckles made from bar shoes, toe weights, sliding plates, and many other horseshoe designs. He also creates custom items, ranging from wedding rings to trophy buckles.

For more information, visit

Saddlebrook BarnCams

The wireless BarnCam System is used by many top breeders and veterinarians across the country. BarnCams are designed for metal, stone, or wood frame barns, clinics, and trailers.

Saddlebrook BarnCams is located in the heart of the Midwest--Wisconsin. President Bill Thiel had this to say about the company's product: "This technology has revolutionized the surveillance industry. It is high-quality, inexpensive, and easy to install. As horse breeders, we use our own systems and couldn't operate effectively without it."

Up to four cameras can be viewed, and they feature audio and wide-angle lenses. They are available in color or black and white, and can transmit as far as one mile with line of sight. Company officials say they can be installed in less than half the time required for traditional systems.

Barncams are fully warranted. The customer-focused company offers free technical support to ensure successful installation and operation of their product.

For more information, call 920/474-7776 or visit

Shank's Veterinary Equipment

Shank's Veterinary Equipment Inc. is a leading manufacturer of large animal surgery equipment for the veterinary professional. The company was founded in 1957 on the principles of manufacturing quality, versatile, affordable surgery tables for the large animal practitioner.

Over the years, the company has expanded upon this concept by adding a variety of table designs specifically for use in equine surgery. In addition, Shank's has continued to develop other specialized equipment relating to the large animal profession. These items include MRI tables, necropsy tables, transfer carts, floor mount stocks, and mobile treatment stocks, among others.

All equipment is hand-built and handled from start to finish at the company's facility to assure quality control and to be able to offer customization when necessary.

In addition to tables and equipment, Shank's also offers recovery floor and wall padding, padded horse helmets, foam pads of all shapes and sizes, and lifting hobbles.

For more information, call 815/225-7700 or visit


Field-tested Soft-Ride hoof boots are designed to provide comfort and relief to lame or laminitic horses until the condition has stabilized or horseshoes can be applied.

Soft-Ride's interchangeable orthotic inserts provide five levels of stiffness to accommodate each horse's pain level and support needs. Owners can check or replace dressings with a tug on the upper boot's adjustable Velcro straps. Farriers can trim the foot without the trauma of shoe-nailing or prolonging time spent standing on three legs. Horses can self-adjust stance and weight-bearing.

Soft-Ride boots come in nine sizes and will fit almost every horse. Horses can also be hand-walked in Soft-Ride boots, and they can be worn during limited turnout.

For more information, visit

Surfacing Resources

From the initial design stages to the last touches of the installation, Surfacing Resources offers services and products to take a project from start to finish. Surfacing Resources is an equine-specific flooring company that manufactures, distributes, and installs a wide range of floor products, ranging from the basic stall mat to the Equi-Turf seamless flooring recovery/ knockdown stalls, foaling stalls, semen collection areas, and procedure/X ray/MRI rooms.

The company also carries many types of rubber mats, including the 12x12-foot one-piece mats, rolled rubber, wall padding, rubber mulch, arena footing, and Dodge-Regupol PaveSafe Pavers and Paver tiles.

For more information, call 260/432-2515 or visit

The Horse Magazine

The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care has been working in partnership with the AAEP for more than 10 years. In 1995, the AAEP board decided the two groups were trying to accomplish the same thing: A more educated horse owner who would in turn be a better client for AAEP members.

To suggest article topics or volunteer to participate in the AAEP Ask the Vet column, visit our booth #911/#1010 at the AAEP Convention, or just stop by and give us your thoughts on how we're doing in helping you educate clients.

For more information, call 800/866-2361 or visit

Triple Crown Nutrition

Triple Crown Nutrition Inc. is an industry leader in providing high-fiber, high-fat, and low-carbohydrate diets for every life stage, level of performance, and metabolic rate. Senior, Growth, and Complete are high beet pulp inclusion diets at 10% fat, and Low Starch and Lite are pelleted diets designed to keep carbohydrates low while providing options for both hard and easy keepers.

All of the Triple Crown products include the latest technology for digestive enhancement, such as organic minerals, yeast cultures, probiotics, digestive enzymes, yucca, and mycotoxin binders.

Triple Crown feeds are now available throughout the Midwest, Oklahoma, and Texas through Kent Feeds and Evergreen Mills. The product line has now expanded distribution into 35 states.

For more information, call 800/267-7198 or visit


ViceBreaker H1 is a product that offers solutions to previously unmanageable vices caused by confinement, boredom, a high-energy diet, and other man-made situations. These vices can include aggression toward humans, aggression toward other horses, cribbing, weaving, stall kicking, unruliness in breeding stallions, wood chewing, teeth grinding, pawing, and fence pacing.

The product is easy to use. It has been tested and approved by veterinarians and trainers and is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee, a two-year warranty, and Tri-Tronics' 36 years of expertise in producing quality electronic collars.

ViceBraker H1 relies on the element of surprise and a horse's natural suspicions of the unknown to discourage a bad behavior, rather than a strong shock. Vice Breaker is listed by the company as being safe, humane, and simple to use.

For more information, call 800/808-8423 or visit

Tryan Enterprises

Tryan Enterprises markets Myristol, an equine joint health product. Myristol is a unique combination of four targeted ingredients, each of which works on a different aspect of the joint disease process. Two of the ingredients--glucosamine and MSM, which are utilized in supporting the "sugar" part of the cartilage--are found in a number of joint supplements.

Two other, more unique ingredients in the blend are cetyl myristoleate, which is an unusual omega 5 fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties, and hydrolyzed collagen, which provides the building blocks for Type II collagen. Type II collagen is a specialized collagen found only in joint cartilage.

Myristol supports joint health in young, active athletes as well as in animals already having joint health issues. Myristol is available through veterinarians.

For more information contact Gayle Trotter, DVM, Millsap, Texas, at 817/599-3349 or visit

Universal Ultrasound

Universal Ultrasound has been a leading supplier of veterinary ultrasound for more than 30 years, partnering with some 6,000 equine veterinarians to bring diagnostic capabilities into their practices.

Universal Ultrasound offers a large variety of ultrasound packages for both beginning and advanced users.

The flagship equine systems include the Medison Pico and Biosound MyLab30, featuring all-digital technology, portability, reproductive and tendon enhancements, comprehensive training, and advanced archiving and telemedicine options.

For more information, call 800/842-0607 or visit


Vet-Stem Inc. provides services that concentrate stem cells from a horse's own adipose tissue to treat tendon and ligament injuries, OCD, bone cysts, and osteoarthritis.

Stem cells promote regeneration of damaged or diseased tissues, speed return to performance, and provide treatment options for horses that have not responded to other therapies. The company maintains that even chronic arthritic horses have responded well to Vet-Stem cell therapy.

The vet collects a small fat sample, sends it to Vet-Stem, then receives Vet-Stem cells ready to inject within 48 hours.

For more information, call 888/387-8361 or visit


Since the early 1900s, Vettec has introduced a number of innovative hoof care products that have become staples in the hands of hoof care professionals. Vettec's fast-setting hoof adhesive products allow the professional to successfully complete hoof repairs, glue on shoes, and create instant shoes and foal extensions.

Vettec also manufactures two instant pad materials that promote heel and sole growth as well as protect and support the equine foot. The company's Equi-Pak product is dispensed into the sole as a liquid and sets to a gel in 30 seconds. This gel coats and adheres to the sole and frog without the need for a pad, and it protects and supports the foot for up to six weeks.

For more information, call 800/483-8832 or visit

Vita Flex

Trust the Vita Flex team: Equine nutrition experts dedicated to enhancing health and performance. Vita Flex equine health supplements are researched, formulated, and extensively tested by our own staff of equine scientists, veterinarians, and biochemists. We provide scientifically derived, performance-proven equine health supplements such as Equinyl joint support formulas.

Equinyl joint formulas help support healthy joint function and connective tissues. Based on the latest research developed for today's equine athletes, Equinyl provides comprehensive joint health support in four different formulas: Equinyl Liquid, Equinyl C, Equinyl CM, and Equinyl GL.

Vita Flex Nutrition has been the choice of veterinarians, championship competitors, and dedicated owners for nearly 20 years. All Vita Flex products are backed by a customer satisfaction guarantee.

For money-saving coupons or product information, call 800/848-2359 or visit

Mission Statement

The American Association of Equine Practitioners, based in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than five million horse owners through its 8,000 members worldwide, and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research, and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.

The AAEP's Mission Statement is: To improve the health and welfare of the horse, to further the professional development of its members, and to provide resources and leadership for the benefit of the equine industry.

Belly Busters

Colic is simply a horse-sized belly ache. That's where the simple part ends. It is the number one disease killer of horses, following only old age as the most common reason horses die. Because of that, the American Association of Equine Practitioners hosted back-to-back educational seminars for veterinarians and researchers on equine colic in early August, with topics ranging from basic, take-home suggestions for vets on diagnostics and medications to molecular discussions that challenged even some of the most talented veterinarians.

Horse owners and veterinarians have come a long way from the days when many colics were automatic death sentences. Some colics that even a few years ago would have been successful surgical candidates can now be treated medically without the added health risks associated with anesthesia and surgery.

Today, the question often is not: "Can you save him, Doc?" but rather: "Can he be as good as he was before?"

The answer derived from the overall discussions at these seminars seemed to be that in many cases, yes, a horse that has had colic surgery can be "good as new." But there are caveats.

Epidemiologic studies have shown that from 4-10 out of 100 horses in a population will experience colic in a year, noted Nat White, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, director of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. About 10-15% of horses that colic are repeat cases, with some horses having two to four bouts of colic each year.

The good news is that simple colic makes up about 80-85% of all cases, and about 30% of colic signs resolve by themselves or with little or no medical intervention by a veterinarian.

In colic cases treated by veterinary practices, most also are mild, caused by a simple obstruction or spasmodic colic (similar to what you feel when you eat too much or have painful gas). Impactions make up only about 10% of cases, and problems such as obstruction or strangulation that require surgery are thought to be only 2-4% of all colic cases, although these numbers can go up depending on risk factors. A colic death rate of seven in 1,000 horses from colic was noted in White's study.

Of course, death rates are the highest in horses that have strangulating obstructions, where the bowel gets twisted and stops movement of anything (including blood) into that part of the bowel. Often the bowel dies and has to be removed.

Knowing when to remove that piece of twisted gut and when to leave it in is a big question in some colic surgeries and was the focus of several of the presentations.

The financial causes of equine colic deaths are a reality for horse owners and veterinarians. Colic surgery and intensive care are expensive, and not all horses are candidates due to financial restrictions of the owner, or the health or age of the horse. Added to that is the fact that 10-15% of horses with colic will colic again, and spending $4,000-$8,000 on a horse once might be possible for some owners, doing it more than once might not.

Returning to White's statistics, he estimated that based on the most recent figures from the American Horse Council's survey of the U.S. horse industry, that 12,000-24,000 colic surgeries are performed a year. That would mean possibly as many as 2.7 colic surgeries every hour!

So, it is statistically possible that each of us have had or will have, at some point in our horse-owning careers, a colicking horse. Because of that, The Horse attended six days of discussions on various aspects of equine colic, and we bring you the following information and news. Because of the vast amount of information presented, not all of it will fit in these pages. Additional information from the AAEP Focus on Equine Colic sponsored by Bayer Animal Health, and the Equine Colic Research Symposium sponsored by the AAEP Foundation and Boehringer Ingelheim, will appear at

Editorial note: Medical advances come from research, and research costs money. As horse owners, we use the information gleaned from research ourselves, or through our veterinarians. Therefore, we should consider it our obligation to help support the programs that are making discoveries that make the lives of our horses better.

Surviving Colic

One big step forward for horses and their owners is that in the past decade, more owners have gotten the message that early intervention for colicking horses can make the difference. Add to that early referral the advances in anesthesia, surgical techniques, medications, and improved critical care, and you have a much higher overall survival rate for horses with colic.

However, veterinarians can't get out the crystal ball and predict which horses will survive, which will not, and which will have complications following surgery. But research has taught veterinarians some lessons:

* Horses discharged from the hospital after colic surgery are in the greatest danger of dying in the first 10 days after discharge.

* If a horse has surgical colic and survives two months, he has gotten over the critical period (there was minimal change in survival rate after six months).

* Greater than 90% of surgical colic cases that survive return to their original use.

Specific physical parameters are related to a lower chance of survival (heart rate more than 80 beats per minute; decreased blood pressure; packed cell volume, PCV, more than 50%; cyanotic or purple mucous membranes; lactate more than 50 mg/dl; peritoneal fluid protein more than 3.4 g/dl).

Many researchers have tried to create mathematical models to help predict which horses need surgery, and which will survive. White demonstrated a couple of those statistical models that veterinarians could use in pocket PCs or laptop computers.

He noted that the best way for a veterinarian to help owners decide about the chance of survival is to provide a prognosis based on the disease classification.

"If the disease can be categorized (simple colic, obstruction, strangulation, enteritis, ulceration, peritonitis), it is usually possible to give a reasonable estimate of the chance for survival," White said.

White reported survival rates for horses with various types of colic as follows:

  • Simple obstructions such as impactions, ~90%;
  • Small intestinal strangulation, ~60-70% (depends on when recognized and presented for surgery);
  • Large colon strangulation, ~30-80% (depends on when recognized and presented for surgery);
  • Enteritis/colitis, ~60-90% (depends on the cause);
  • Peritonitis, ~40-70%; and
  • Ulceration, ~90% (lower percentage for colon ulcers).

Medical Treatment of Colic

One of the most profound changes in treating colic is giving fluids in greater volume, and focusing on oral fluids rather than just IV fluids.

Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, associate professor of equine surgery at North Carolina State University, said, "Oral fluids are very useful to correct dehydration and more directly penetrate impactions. They are less expensive than IV fluids."

He added that while IV fluids correct dehydration, they don't actually put extra fluid into the GI tract. "But a horse must be properly hydrated to do that," Blikslager explained.

He said a horse puts 150 liters (39.6 gallons) of fluid into the gut on a daily basis through water intake and fluids secreted from various gut segments. He considers the lowest useful volume of IV fluids to give a colicky horse is 15-20 liters. Blikslager said if a 1,000-pound horse has a 6% fluid deficit (fairly common), then it needs 30 liters of fluid (50% of fluid deficit).

"We want to give half the deficit to make a dent in the dehydration," he explained. "It's hard to overhydrate a horse too quickly during the initial treatment. You can use both jugular veins and a fluid pump and they will be okay."

For oral hydration, Blikslager said you could use a continuous naso-esophageal tube administration of a custom mix of 5.37 grams NaCl (salt) with 0.37 grams Lite Salt plus 3.78 grams NaHCO3 (baking soda) per liter of water. "Using straight water or saline can cause electrolyte disturbances," he said. "The major advantage of this method is that hydration of colonic contents is greatly increased compared to IV fluids, and impactions that may be refractory to IV fluid therapy may be resolved."

Another option is repeated water/electrolyte treatments by regular stomach tube; for example, two to three gallons (7 1/2 to 11 liters) two to three times a day.

Caution: Coastal Bermudagrass Hay

There is an association between feeding medium- or low-quality Coastal Bermudagrass hay and colic. Blikslager noted that Coastal Bermudagrass has very fine fibers. "I don't think horses chew it properly, and it clogs up the ileocecal junction like hair clogs up a drain," he said. "If it is good-quality coastal hay, I don't think it would cause a problem. Especially don't switch a horse to Coastal Bermuda hay quickly."

In a 2002 study, Blikslager said feeding Coastal Bermudagrass hay resulted in a three-fold higher risk of colic than feeding other types of hay.

Stomach Impaction

"Watch out for the pony parked beneath the persimmon tree!" warned Blikslager. He said many stomach impactions are caused by dry, fibrous ingesta, and that persimmons and mesquite beans are known culprits. He said wheat, barley, and sugar beet pulp have also been implicated in stomach impactions.

He recalled one vet who said the pony that impacted was seen to stand under a persimmon tree and wait for the fruits to fall before gobbling them up.

A veterinarian from the audience said the University of Georgia last year reported five impactions because of persimmons and Auburn's veterinary school had two.


A United Kingdom study showed a 34% greater risk of ileal impaction when tapeworm eggs were detected in fecal tests. Serological detection (using a blood sample) of tapeworm infection is available only in the United Kingdom. A serologic test available in the United States can identify exposure to tapeworms, but positive results don't necessarily indicate an active infection.

For more information on serology in the United States, contact Craig Reinemeyer, DVM, PhD (parasitology), president of East Tennessee Clinical Research, at 865/673-3501.

Fecal Output

In surgical cases that aren't associated with colic, you should monitor fecal output after surgery to ensure the horse isn't developing an impaction, noted Blikslager. In one survey, he found that orthopedic and soft tissue surgery resulted in a three-fold risk of decreased fecal output. If the surgery lasted more than one hour, it resulted in a 2.7 times higher risk of bowel impaction.

Blikslager said a normal horse will have six to eight bowel movements per day. For the study, they considered three piles or less daily as reduced fecal output after surgery.

"Lack of bute (phenylbutazone) administration resulted in a 5.7-times higher risk of reduced fecal output," he stated. "If pain control is inadequate, particularly in orthopedic surgeries, it can result in a reduction in fecal output and cecal impaction."


An enterolith is a formation of mineral concretions (inorganic mass or "stone") usually found in the large colon, noted Rustin Moore, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, director of the Equine Health Studies Program at Louisiana State University. He said while enteroliths have been found in horses around the world, in the United States, California has the highest prevalence.

He noted a study from the University of California, Davis, in which 15% of all equids admitted for treatment of colic during a 24-year period suffered from enteroliths, and 28% of surgical colics were for enteroliths.

While no one knows why horses in some areas have more problem with enteroliths, Moore suggested it could be related to: Feeding alfalfa, little or no access to
pasture, hard water (contains high amounts of minerals), age (middle-aged horses--mean age 11.4 years--were more prone), and specific breed predilections (Arabians, Arabian crosses, Morgans, Saddlebreds, donkeys, and American Miniature Horses). The study showed no sex predilection, but Moore noted that stallions were significantly less likely to form enteroliths.

Moore told veterinarians that just because one enterolith is found during surgery doesn't mean the horse has only one stone. He said in a 900-horse study that 55% had one stone that was round/oval, and 45% had two or more stones that were polyhedron or flat.

"There might be different-shaped stones in different parts of the GI tract, so don't miss other stones even if you find a round/ oval stone," he warned surgeons.

Feeding Horses Post-Colic

There is almost no information on this topic, noted nutrition/internal medicine specialist Ray Geor, BVSc, MVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, formerly of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, and now at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech. He said you don't want to over-fill an injured gut, but you do want to stimulate the gut with food so it returns to normal function as soon as possible and becomes the horse's main source of nutrition intake.

Geor said human literature is now supporting earlier post-operative feeding to decrease the risk of ileus, incisional complications, and infections; mitigate loss of muscle mass; and shorten the duration of hospitalization. He said these benefits also depended on the person's pre-existing nutritional state.

"Are these data relevant to horses?" he posed.

He said the consensus on feeding a post-operative colic horse in a good nutritional state is that the horse can stand two to three days of starvation (no solid food) without adverse consequences.

However, he emphasized, "If the gut is working, feed it!" Feeding emphasis should be on soft, high-fiber, and highly digestible feedstuffs.

If the gut is not working or the horse has a poor appetite, then parenteral (via IV) feeding might be required.

He gave the following broad caloric guideline: Healthy horses at maintenance require 32 kcal digestible energy (DE)/kg body weight (BW)/day; a horse in stall confinement needs 22-23 kcal DE/kg BW/day. Geor recommended starting at stall maintenance level and building to true maintenance over a three- to seven-day period once the horse is able to process solid food.

Different feeding methods are needed depending on the type of surgery performed and what area of the horse's gut was affected.


Frank Andrews, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, section chief of large animal medicine, University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, reminded veterinarians that many horses have ulcers, which can cause mild to severe colic. Studies have shown that 40-93% of horses of various types have ulceration in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. He said a necropsy study of older horses that died of various causes found 50% of them had ulcers.

Andrews reminded that while ulcers can be a primary disease, they can occur as a secondary problem. Research has shown horses can get ulcers in as little as 96 hours (four days). Alfalfa hay can buffer stomach acid and reduce the likelihood of ulcers. "Feeding alfalfa is like giving a horse Tums," said Andrews.

Currently, definitively diagnosing ulcers is by an endoscopic exam, but researchers at Texas A&M University are developing a sucrose permeability test that in studies has proven a reliable indicator of ulcers.

Andrews mentioned a new test developed by Frank Pelligrini, DVM, vice president of veterinary medicine for Freedom Health, that uses a fecal sample to test for blood in the stool, which is indicative of gastric or colonic ulcers. (See A 2004 study of slaughter horses estimated that 97% had ulcers--63% had colonic ulceration, 87% had gastric ulcers, and 54% had both gastric and colonic ulcers. Andrews warned of false positives with this test if you have done a rectal exam on the horse.

He discussed GastroGard (active ingredient: Omeprazole), the only product federally licensed to treat and prevent equine gastric ulcers. "Beware of 'compounded' omeprazole," warned Andrews. "Use the FDA-approved drug."

Some horses with persistent ulcers might need antibiotic treatment, said Andrews. "In rat studies (rats have the same type of stomach as horses), you can have rapid colonization of ulcers by E. coli and other bacteria," he noted.

Colic and Roll

Don't be surprised if after a rectal and ultrasound exam, a referral veterinarian gives your colicking horse a medication and tells you to trot him for 30 minutes. If the horse is still colicking, the veterinarian might induce anesthesia and lay the horse down, rolling him or even elevating his hindquarters while rolling him. Another round of exams, and the vet declares the horse is good as new.

Several veterinarians reported on the improved methods of using medical treatments to correct nephrosplenic entrapment of the large colon. This is when the large colon becomes entrapped between the horse's left kidney and the spleen.

Moore said veterinarians are having success using phenylephrine hydrochloride, exercise, and/or anesthetized rolling to correct the entrapment.--Kimberly S. Herbert 


Predicting Colic?

Risk factors are not predictors of colic, but if horses are exposed to any of them, their risk of colic is higher than horses not exposed. Suspected risk factors discussed by Nat White, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, director of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, include:

  • Lack of water/poor hydration;
  • Abrupt decrease in activity;
  • Electrolyte imbalance;
  • Medications such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; studies found using Banamine decreased gut motility);
  • Previous colic;
  • Geography; exposure to sand and gravel (for ileal impaction, enteroliths, and anterior enteritis);
  • Dental problems;
  • Grain overload;
  • Changes in hay or feed;
  • High levels of concentrate fed (grain causes ingesta to create more gas);
  • Change in management (associated with spasmodic colic);
  • Parasites (large and small strongyles, tapeworms, and ascarids);
  • Feeding poor-quality Coastal Bermudagrass hay;
  • Specific breeds (general colic in Arabians; inguinal hernia in Standardbred, Saddlebred,and Warmblood stallions);
  • Age: Meconium impaction in foals, lipomas in horses 12 year or older;
  • Foaling;
  • Decreased turn-out;
  • Transportation; and
  • Cribbing (epiploic foramen strangulation).--Kimberly S. Herbert

About the Author

Les Sellnow

Les Sellnow is a free-lance writer based near Riverton, Wyo. He specializes in articles on equine research, and operates a ranch where he raises horses and livestock. He has authored several fiction and non-fiction books, including Understanding Equine Lameness and Understanding The Young Horse, published by Eclipse Press and available at or by calling 800/582-5604.

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