Other than old age, colic is the No. 1 killer of horses. Equine Guelph has created a new online tool to help owners determine their horse's risk of the potentially deadly disease. This tool helps equine owners and caretakers identify risk factors and develop preventative strategies.
Colic is known as any abdominal pain in horses; with digestive tracts that are 85 feet long, and the fact that horses can't throw up when their stomachs are upset, it's easy to see how a slight belly ache coudl become something more serious. Many of the changes man has forced on horses has made them more susceptible to colic, including keeping them in stalls where they are unable to graze continuously.
Equine Guelph notes that the top colic risk factors include sudden changes in diet and routine; limited turnout and stall confinement; and high-grain, low-forage diets.
Some tips Equine Guelph offers to reduce colic risk include:
- Feed small meals often
- Feed good-quality feed
- Reduce stall time
- Increase forage
- Provide routine dental care
- Provide access to fresh, clean water
- Maximize turnout
- Consistent exercise
- Provide consistent deworming
- Monitor the horse
Take the colic risk rater here.
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