Does the Moon Phase Affect Horses’ Colic Risk?

Studies have shown a lunar influence on humans and animals, from fertility levels to hormone fluctuations to immune response. More research into its effect on equine colic, however, needs to be done to make a strong association.

Does the Moon Phase Affect Horses’ Colic Risk?
While they found no significant association between colic and any of the weather metrics, Vigouroux did note a weak but significant association between colic and moon phase. | Photo: iStock

While many causes of colic are well-researched and well-known, some cases are still hard to explain. Could they be linked to subtle factors, such as weather changes or moon phases?

Lucile Vigouroux, a student at Centenary University, in Hackettstown, New Jersey, and co-authors Danielle Ferriola; Jesslyn Bryk-Lucy, DVM; and Linda Ritchie, MBE, recently conducted a study to investigate. Vigouroux presented their findings at the 2019 Equine Science Society Symposium, held June 3-6 in Asheville, North Carolina.

First, the team surveyed nearly 200 horse owners, trainers, and veterinarians to determine their perceived top three colic causes, which

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Written by:

Alexandra Beckstett, Managing Editor of The Horse and a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as Assistant Editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse.

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