Dealing With Sand Colic

Prompt diagnosis and treatment can ensure that a mild colic doesn’t become a fatal colic.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

The lulling sound of waves slowly rolling in and out. A nice, sandy beach. Great scenarios vacation-wise, but a crisis in the making when applied to your horse’s gut sounds and abdominal radiographic post cards. Diagnosis: Sand colic.

Sand colic occurs when the horse ingests sand along with regular rations into the intestinal tract. "Sand colic is typically seen in horses that live in dry, sandy areas," says Andie Dee, DVM, of B.W. Furlong and Associates in New Jersey. "You can’t always hear sand when it’s in the intestinal tract, but when you do, you’ll never forget it," Dee says. "It sounds like the tide rolling in and rolling out."

"Sand colic is abdominal pain caused by an intestinal obstruction, i.e., an impaction," states George Martin, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, and Professor and Section Chief Equine Medicine and Surgery, Louisiana State University. "In most impaction colics, the obstruction is caused by feed, but in sand colic it is caused by sand."

Dee says that some horses seem to be more prone to sand colic than others, even when sharing the same environment. "We don’t know why. It may have something to do with the ability of an individual’s intestinal motility to keep things moving along. Or, it may be that one individual tends to pick up more sand than another

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:

Marcia King is an award-winning freelance writer based in Ohio who specializes in equine, canine, and feline veterinary topics. She’s schooled in hunt seat, dressage, and Western pleasure.

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:

Has your veterinarian used SAA testing for your horse(s)?
94 votes · 94 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!