Colic and Equine Enteroliths: Rock Bottom

One of the more exotic forms of colic is caused by enteroliths, or stone-like formations that form in a horse’s digestive tract.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

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 colic caused by enteroliths, or stone-like formations that form in a horse’s digestive tract.

Enterolith stones are made up of minerals, such as magnesium ammonium phosphate salts. These minerals can build up around an object that a horse eats but does not digest, such as a small chunk of wood, pebble, wire, twine, or other foreign object. These masses can become quite large, sometimes weighing in at 10 to 15 pounds or more.

Sometimes horses develop one large stone, while others chronically develop multiple stones. The stones form in the large colon of the horses and cause a problem once they move to areas of the intestine that have smaller diameters, such as the transverse colon or the small colon.

Smaller enteroliths might pass with feces, but if horses produce smaller stones, larger ones might remain. Mild chronic or intermittent colic can plague horses with a single stone that has not grown large enough to cause a total impaction or has not moved to a narrower area. These horses might also suffer from weight loss, diarrhea, or lethargy

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.

Share

Written by:

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:

Where do you go to find information on pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID)? Select all that apply.
78 votes · 136 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!