Recent News for Digestive Tract Problems


Colic and Equine Enteroliths: Rock Bottom

May 02, 2008

Colic, or abdominal pain, is a common ailment in horses. More than 70 causes can trigger colic, including gas distention, food impactions, intestinal tract spasms, and intestinal displacement or twists. One of the more exotic forms is... Read More


Repairing Hernias with Subcutaneous Mesh

April 29, 2008

Incisional hernias (protrusion of abdominal contents through a gap in an incision beneath the skin) occur in up to 17% of horses receiving abdominal surgery, reported Gal Kelmer, DVM, MS, clinical assistant professor at the University of... Read More


Handling a Choking Horse

April 25, 2008

All animals can choke, including horses. When it happens, it should be considered a medical emergency. A horse chokes when its esophagus is obstructed, rather than the trachea, or windpipe. Although horses are still able to breathe in this... Read More


Water and Dehydration Study Clarification

April 24, 2008

A 2008 Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) publication examining dehydration in working horses was summarized and printed on April 24, 2008, prior to its actual publication in EVJ. It was reviewed and approved by the... Read More


Urinary Tract Problems

April 23, 2008

The urinary tract is a vital system; if a problem develops, it can rapidly become a crisis.... Read More


Vaccination Schedule Guidelines

April 21, 2008

Developing a vaccination schedule is not as straightforward as it sounds. So much of what you should vaccinate for depends upon such factors as where you live, how often your horse travels, how old he is, his vaccination history, and what infectious ... Read More


Feeding Horses During Colic Recovery

April 12, 2008

What's the best way to feed a horse when his GI tract isn't yet quite right after colic or colic surgery?... Read More


Risk Factors for Gastric Ulcers in Thoroughbreds

April 09, 2008

Up to 86% of Australian Thoroughbred racehorses have been reported to have gastric ulcers. Many factors can contribute to ulcers, and researchers at Murdoch University set out to determine which ones were the most significant for this population... Read More


Clearing Sand From the Gut

April 03, 2008

Sand colic due to an accumulation of sand in the intestines accounts for up to 30% of all colics, often causing weight loss and chronic diarrhea. Psyllium has often been recommended as a laxative for clearing sand out of the intestines, although... Read More


Alfalfa Hay Reduces Ulcer Severity

April 02, 2008

If your horse has ulcers, giving him omeprazole isn't the only thing you can do to help reduce the severity of the problem. Noah Cohen, VMD, PhD, MPH, Dipl. ACVIM, discussed a study that found alfalfa hay reduced the severity of ulcers in young, ... Read More


Giving Omeprazole for Ulcers Intravenously

March 27, 2008

In the past few years, we've been hearing how many more horses have gastric ulcers than we used to think. We also know that oral omeprazole paste (GastroGard, manufactured by Merial Limited, Decatur, Ga.) effectively treats and prevents ulcers.... Read More


Intravenous Lidocaine for Controlling Pain and Inflammation

March 23, 2008

Intravenous (IV) lidocaine is one systemic way to manage pain and inflammation, and it also has been used to improve intestinal motility in colic cases. Its use has been a fairly hot topic of late, so Margaret Mudge, VMD, Dipl. ACVS, ACVECC,... Read More


Stapling the Gut

March 21, 2008

These days, in many species incisions are often closed with staples rather than stitches--and they're not just for external use any more. At the 2007 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Orlando, Fla.,... Read More


Reducing Hindgut Acidosis

March 17, 2008

Acidosis (abnormally high acidity) in the hindgut (the large intestine and colon) can cause a number of problems in horses, including anorexia, colic, laminitis, and stereotypic (continuous, repetitive, and serving no purpose) behaviors such as... Read More


Scoping Events Show Prevalence of Equine Gastric Ulcers

March 12, 2008

Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) can occur in horses anywhere. In 2007, Merial (the maker of Ulcergard and Gastrogard) illustrated the prevalence of EGUS by hosting gastroscopy events at two universities on opposite sides of the country.... Read More


Correcting Large Colon Displacement

March 11, 2008

Left dorsal displacement of the large colon isn't the most common cause of colic--only about 6-8% of colics are caused by this. However, up to 21% of affected horses tend to displace again, even after surgical correction. These horses often have... Read More


Derby Champ Winning Colors Euthanized

February 19, 2008

Champion Winning Colors, winner of the 1988 Kentucky Derby, was euthanized Feb. 17 following complications from colic at Hagyard Davidson McGee vet clinic near Lexington. The 23-year-old Caro mare was buried at Greentree Farm, a division of... Read More


Mineral Oil, Psyllium Combination Effective for Sand Clearance in New Study

February 08, 2008

Mineral oil, a traditional equine laxative, clears sand from the equine intestine more effectively when used in conjunction with psyllium, according to new research from the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, in Austria. These results are... Read More


Hitting the Road for Education

February 01, 2008

Take more than 1,000 veterinarians and veterinary students from around the globe, some armed with presentations representing thousands of hours worth of equine research, and add to it some tartan, bagpipes, and Scottish fare. Drop it all into a... Read More


Ileus: When the Gut Stops

February 01, 2008

Ileus is one of the leading postoperative causes of death in horses. ... Read More


Alfalfa Might Buffer Gastric Acid Production, Prevent Ulcers

December 19, 2007

Feeding grain, confinement, exercise, and overall environmental stress factors are thought to cause ulcers, he said. It's commonly thought that horses turned out on pastures are better off than those that are confined. However, if grass hay is the on... Read More


2007 Morris Animal Foundation Equine Research Wrap-Up

December 14, 2007

The results of equine research funded by the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) in 2007 added to scientists' understanding of foal pneumonia, hereditary muscle disorders, laminitis, and pharmacology.

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Lawsonia Infections: An Emerging Problem

November 24, 2007

Over the past decade, Lawsonia intracellularis, the bacterium responsible for proliferative enteropathy (a spreading disease of the intestines), has been diagnosed with... Read More


Girl Scout Troop Thanks Vet College for Saving Favorite Horse

November 22, 2007

Many will give thanks for the blessings in their lives this Thanksgiving. For one family and a generous troop of Girl Scouts, their thankfulness will include the health of a horse named Denali and the "miracle workers" in the Virginia-Maryland... Read More


Study: Prebiotics Might Help Prevent Digestive Upset

November 19, 2007

Prebiotics, such as short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides, are specially fermented compounds that alter the composition and/or activity of gastrointestinal bacteria and microflora to ameliorate the health of the host. Until now, only a limited... Read More