Equine Guelph offers Horses’ Colic Risk Assessment

After declaring 2013 the ‘Year of Colic Prevention,’ Equine Guelph has announced the release of its latest online health care tool: the colic risk rater. This free tool is designed for the individual horseperson to rate his/her horse’s risk of colic.

The colic risk rater assesses and calculates colic risk while providing useful feedback on management practices through a series of questions in 10 categories, requiring less than 10 minutes to complete.

The tool's goal is to provide horse owners a simple way to determine if their horse is at a high risk for colic, given the horse’s personal scenario. After each question, the risk rater dial will fluctuate back or forth, revealing the constantly changing risk and, in the end, providing an overall colic risk rating calculation for each horse.

According to “Preventing Colic in Horses,” by Christine King, BVSc, MACVSc, MVetClinStud, about 80% of colic cases are management-related. Katie Crossan, DVM,, guest speaker in Equine Guelph’s colic prevention eWorkshop, concurs: “Experts agree that the majority of colic’s are a result of management practices,” she says. “Prevention through management is the best course of action when it comes to colic.”

Thus, horse owners can play a major role in reducing colic risk through management. Owners must be aware of the risk factors, especially the ones we can manage such as feeding, housing, parasite control, and stress.

In addition to funding from Standardbred Canada, investment in this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program. In Ontario, the Agricultural Adaptation Council delivers this program. Partners include Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Society of Ontario, Ontario Association of Equine Practitioners, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Ontario Harness Horse Association, and the Ontario Veterinary College.

To check out the colic risk rater or to find out more about Equine Guelph’s Colic Prevention Programs—including the upcoming fall eWorkshop, scheduled for Sept. 9-22—visit http://EquineGuelph.ca/eworkshops/colic.php.

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