Poll: Horse Owners Most Concerned With Colic Emergencies

More than 1,020 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "What potential equine emergency concerns you the most?"

results of poll on worries of horse owners

Results were as follows:

  • Colic: 42.82%
  • All of the Above: 39.78%
  • Wounds/Trauma: 7.23%
  • Other: 6.35%
  • Illness/Disease: 2.83%
  • Severe Pain: 0.98%

Readers shared their biggest horse health concerns in the comments below.

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  • I both saved my horse from it lost my horse to it, so I know it it is a dire condition.
  • Lyme
  • uveitis in horses is there a cure?
  • Laminitis
  • Severe pain can make the horse much more difficult and dangerous to deal with.
  • i have just lost my equine vet. not sure who I will be able to get that isn't greatly expensive
  • MY HORSE HAS SUDDENLY BECOME ILL. SHE CAN'T WALK WITHOUT PAIN AND TREMBLING.
  • I am constantly concerned about the health and well being of my horse.
  • lameness
  • because they all potentially could be indications of severe problems requiring immediate care
  • bloating, upset stomach
  • It used to be colic until my gelding foundered
  • Because I love my horse and wouldnt want any of these to happen.
  • Milk in Mares
  • Colic begins as the silent killer the early statges often missed by owners.
  • Colic AND Hendra virus... nasty.
  • Because there are so many things that can cause it.
  • Having to make the decision to put one of my babies down because I can't afford the Operation.
  • In a rural area, not being able to get vet support by phone or farm call.
  • colic or serious injury, afraid of not being able to afford poss surgery 2 give every chance possibl
  • Broken bones
  • EPM
  • any one of these is scary!
  • Horses will ALWAYS find a way to get hurt.
  • anything that requires surgery as the nearest vet hospital is 4hrs away
  • Ulcer
  • scar tissue, swelling and discomfort in old injuries of tendons, muscles and ligaments.
  • people not being open about contagious diseases and not stopping the movement of sick horses.
  • All described are serious. Large animal Vets are in short supply, more so in rural areas. HELP!
  • colic is so sudden and can be so severe...
  • Persistent cough
  • right now everything
  • Current outbreak of Dryland Distemper--Pigeon Fever in Austin Texas!!!
  • We have mustnags and its often they had issues with colic because they ate sand
  • ANY problem needing vet care is of great concern to me!
  • Very difficult to get to a clinic from our location.
  • I have lost 2 horses to colic over the years. It remains my main concern with all my horses.
  • I worry about lyme desease as we have many deer,so many ticks.
  • Trauma #1 in my book. Disease and colic you can manage until the vet arrives - but trauma is a whole
  • all of the above andincombination with natural disasters
  • In Phoenix area we have high heat, monsoon winds, possible thunderstorms, disaster prep is critical
  • Colic is the only life threatening event I experienced
  • fire/ natural disaster
  • Laminitis
  • Anything expensive!
  • trouble fast if away at work
  • complications or injury to my mare's pacemaker and lead
  • laminitis
  • The outcome its so unpredictable
  • Cellulitis
  • had them all this past year
  • Requires a keen eye for the slightest
  • viral that you cant vaccinate for
  • laminitis
  • Eye injuries concern us
  • My horse had it ...twisted..and died
  • My gelding has had several colic bouts, requiring vet care
  • Horse had one surgery already, won't put him through that again.
  • laminitis and treatment
  • foaling problems are the worst
  • are mesquite beans toxic to dogs
  • followed by wounds
  • colic always rates first!
  • Founder as it can be lifelong, irreversible.
  • Even though I always strive to provide the best care posible, horses will be horses!
  • Wearther related issues
  • lameness
  • All are concerning, but scariest would be a broken bone
  • dystocia
  • Our nightmare is that the horse is treatable but the cost exceeds our budget (in the thousands)
  • My horse has hoof problems like crazy. He now has rings on the outer wall and a hole in the midle.
  • sudden lameness
  • laminitis
  • I have a horse that has siezures -
  • All of the above are bad, but im mostly concerned with airborne diseases
  • All of the above can be life threatning. All horse owners need to be aware of the signs.
  • Wildfire. Here in Florida, it's the worst drought in recorded history. Evacuation will be impossible
  • any emergency, we have no vets in the immediate area
  • horse getting cast in stall
  • I lost my 1/2 Arabian to colic in January 2010. I'll never get over his death.
  • Sarcoids
  • Tick bourne diseases and horse sickness here in Africa. Limited veterinary staff around are biggies
  • Can occur for any reason you wouldn't suspect.
  • comes on so quickly and your reaction has to be equally quick
  • Any one of these sitituations has the possibility of being fatal
  • Have dealt with colic, severe injuries, severe pain, and illness in 36 years of owning horses
  • Have already been through a colic surgery that saved my horses life, without it he would of died.
  • Colic & unspecific lameness issues
  • "Servere" Colic that is!!
  • laminitis
  • My horses are very important to me so any of the above concerns me
  • colic is #1, but they all worry me
  • fetlock punture\stake trauma wound
  • laminitis
  • Is she comfortable? Does the hay taste good? Is the pasture too rich? etc.
  • my horse had a serious injury then pneumonia while recovering from the injury,they all concern me.
  • True emergencies all qualify for immediate attending and concern
  • foaling problems
  • Fracture-dangerous injury, dangerous recovery
  • A trailer wreck while on the roadway
  • Colic and Laminitis are my 2 biggest worries! Been there, done both!
  • Choke!
  • I lost my best friend Ebony a 9 year old APHA mare that was 7 months in foal to the unknown colic do
  • national disasters, along with all of the above
  • I am concerned about colic, twisted gut and bladder stones.
  • Wounds/trauma/pain/colic all bad
  • this is the only problem I don't have any control over with wide spread horse movement
  • I have lost two horses because of Colic related problems and now I am very paranoid about it!
  • eye injuries are my biggest fear, losing an eye.
  • colic and laminitis worry me the most.
  • I know about 3 people that have had to take their horses to davis for colic surgery
  • Allergic swelling/anaphalactic shock in 17 year old gelding.
  • I worry about my ability to stop excessive bleeding while transporting to the vet!
  • I am concerned about all but injuries and colic would be on the top of the list.
  • founder
  • because of desert-grown hay, even well managed horses ingest a lot of sand
  • Leg fracture
  • Trailer Injuries
  • surgical trauma, we live sooo far from a surgery
  • Also laminitis.Wish my horses could tell me where and when it hurts.
  • stiffness of legs
  • laminitis
  • Laminitis and founder worry me most
  • my horse colicked twice and stepped on a nail once
  • tying up
  • I am a vet tech so I only get concerned when I cant treat something myself.
  • barn fires
  • Colic and wounds. They do seem to find a way to hurt themselves without trying
  • Laminitis which my horse has suffered is on special diet damages hooves, can repeat horse is IR
  • Anything that can result in death
  • wildfire
  • anything that compromises performance ability! (I keep my horses for life!!!)
  • Laminitis / founder worries me the most.
  • foundering
  • Broken bone.if my horse breaks a bone we have to put him down.we dont have enough money to fix him:(
  • All of the above plus founder
  • my mare has had impaction and torsion colic- any episode freaks me out as I expect the worst!
  • I use Turmeric powder for most wounds and feed it in thier feed along w/conventionial meds 4 lots
  • rattlesnake bite
  • We raise minis and you must be so careful how much they are fed.
  • Anything beyond my personal knowledge is of concern until I get answers & help.
  • undiagnosed illness which the vet under-estimates. I have lost two horses this way, vet's fault.
  • And the dreaded Laminitis
  • laminitis - My mare has Cushings.
  • LAMINITIS, I always am concerned if I am manageing their diets properly
  • Colic probably concerns me the most.
  • natural disasters, mostly wildfire where I live
  • founder
  • We have ahorse who underwent cecal impaction surgery, so always worried about colic
  • Death
  • lost one of my best friends to colic
  • The weather here in the Northeast has been fluctuating wildly. That's always a concern with water.
  • laminitis
  • Laminitis
  • There is a mass on my horse's in front of his front legs
  • I had a horse colic, was in acute distress, called my attending vet who had seen him before. He tx.
  • I board my horse, so I worry an injury/illness won't be noticed when I'm not there.
  • I have two very colicy horses and one that Chokes.
  • my mare had successful surgery but oxygen deprivation left her an expensive dummy
  • i have seen healthy horses lost
  • large wound inflamed and weeping green pus from the outside of his throat wound is open

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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