Preventing Colic - Some Practical, Science-Based Tips

After two decades of research, known "risk factors" have been identified for many different types of colic. Being cognizant of factors that make some horses more or less likely to develop colic than others is an important step in reducing the incidence of this condition.

In his presentation at the 10th International Congress of World Equine Veterinary Association (WEVA), Christopher Proudman, MA, Vet MB, PhD, Cert EO, FRCVS, professor and Head of Department of Veterinary Clinical Science at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom reviewed colic risk factors (both general and type-specific) and offered this advice:

  • Parasites are associated with several types of colic. Be certain that horses are being appropriate dewormed;
  • Do not unnecessarily change a horse's diet regardless of the horse's environment or use, and;
  • If changes in forage or concentrate are necessary, be certain to make these changes very slowly, preferably not at the same time as management changes.

More details are available in Proudman's published abstract available for free from the International Veterinary Information Service.  

About the Author

Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she's worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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