About 10-15% of colic cases happen in horses that have had clinical signs of colic before, with some horses having two to four episodes per year. Fortunately, a majority of colic cases (80-85%) are termed “simple” because they either resolve by themselves or can be treated medically.

Each year the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) elects an outstanding practitioner and awards him or her the Frank J. Milne trophy to recognize a lifetime of service in a particular area of expertise. The 2006 designate was Nat White II, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, the Jean Ellen Shehan Professor and director of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and chairman of the AAEP Foundation Advisory Committee. White has spent a lifetime in service to the horse, specifically in researching and treating equine colic.

White has authored more than 150 articles and 35 book chapters, in addition to writing several books, including Equine Acute Abdomen and Handbook of Equine Colic, as well as the surgical texts Current Techniques in Equine Surgery and Lameness and Current Practice of Equine Surgery. White, a former director at large of the AAEP, is a past president of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) and has served as director of the ACVS Veterinary Symposium since 1997.

He gave his presentation, “Equine Colic: A Real Pain in the Gut,” on Dec. 4, 2006, in San Antonio, Texas, and it was attended by nearly 3,000 industry representatives and equine practitioners. White recounted a timeline of understanding equine colic using case examples from his clinical experience and research. He used computer-generated videos done in collaboration with at team at the University of Georgia to show intestinal diseases and rectal examinations.

Reality Check

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