Equine Colic Risk Factors

Certain management factors might affect the likelihood of colic episodes.

No account yet? Register


A number of risk factors are associated with increased incidence of colic, and horses that have a history of colic occurrences and/or previous colic surgery might be more likely to exhibit future bouts.

Management factors might also affect the likelihood of colic episodes. Dietary management practices such as using certain types of feed, increased amounts of feed, and increased concentrations of feed may be associated with higher incidences of colic, laminitis (a painful foot condition), and endotoxemia, a condition in which toxins are released from dying bacteria (cell walls) within the body and circulated in the blood.

Changes in the diet, such as in the type and/or quality of feed and hay or other dietary forage, might lead to higher colic incidence.

In reality, a limited number of risk factors for colic can be directly controlled by owner intervention. Using good feeding practices and dietary management, parasite control, and good health practices are probably the extent of our ability to minimize the risk factors for colic in the horse

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


Written by:

Brad Bentz, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, ABVP, ACVECC, owns Bluegrass Equine Performance and Internal Medicine in Lexington, Ky., where he specializes in advanced internal medicine and critical care focused on helping equine patients recuperate at home. He’s authored numerous books, articles, and papers about horse health and currently serves as commission veterinarian for the Kentucky State Racing Commission.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

When do you begin to prepare/stock up on products/purchase products for these skin issues?
86 votes · 86 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!