Decreasing Risk of Enterolithiasis: Hay Type and Pasture

Too much alfalfa, too little oat and grass hay, and limited access to pasture grazing are important factors that put horses at risk for developing enterolithiasis (intestinal stones that have the potential to cause colic).
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An enterolith inside a horse's colon, which can cause colic
Enterolith after being removed form a horse's colon

An enterolith before and after surgical removal at Washington State University. This particular one weighed 3.6 kg and measured 20 cm around. The horse survived and recovered well.

Too much alfalfa, too little oat and grass hay, and limited access to pasture grazing are important factors that put horses at risk for developing enterolithiasis (intestinal stones).

Enteroliths are composed of a crystalline mineral that forms one or more concretions in various regions of the colon. Enteroliths have the potential to cause colic

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Written by:

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she’s worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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