Digestive Tract Problems

News, Articles, Videos and other content about Digestive Tract Problems

Surgical vs. Medical Cecal Impaction Management

When your horse starts displaying signs of colic—decreased manure production, a lack of appetite, or pain—your first call should be to your veterinarian. While some mild colics can pass without much trouble, other types must be diagnosed and treated quickly—medically or surgically—to improve the horse's likelihood of survival. ...

Ways to Reduce a Cribber's Colic Risk

Severe and recurring cases of colic are frequently caused by a horse’s environment, diet, and genetics. Study results have also proven a link between cribbing and an increased risk of colic. Researchers are working to better understand the link between the two.

Colic: To Refer or Not to Refer

Four out of every 100 horses colic each year, making it the most common equine emergency. While most cases do not require surgery, 7-10% of them do involve lesions that are only correctable through surgery.

The Vet Tech's Role in Colic Surgery

Despite veterinary advancements and dramatically improved postoperative survival rates, colic is still a leading cause of death among horses. Colic, by definition, is abdominal pain; this is a clinical sign rather than a disease. A horse can be “colicky” for many reasons—large colon torsions, small intestinal strangulations, spasmodic ep...

How to Manage a Collapsed Foal

Foals have seemingly endless energy, darting around their fields, playing with their pasturemates, and recharging with a quick nap and a drink from Mom. But, occasionally, a foal develops a health problem that zaps that energy and leaves him in a collapsed heap, looking sickly and vulnerable. What should you do if this happens to your foal?

Study Compares Abdominal Bandage Types

It's no secret that leg wraps and bandages applied to horses' lower limbs protect and support the soft tissues within. But what about the abdominal bandages veterinarians wrap around horses' bodies post-colic surgery—do they function in the same way?

10 Hot Weather Horse Care Tips

Summer heat can be dangerous for horses, resulting in dehydration, lethargy, and general malaise. Severe heat stress can cause diarrhea, or even colic. But owners can take important steps to keep horses safe and comfortable during the hot days ahead.

Switching Horse Feeds Safely

Horse owners sometimes find it necessary to change their horse’s feeding program--fluctuations in temperature, season, and performance level are just some of the reasons. But with the known link between diet changes and health conditions such as colic or laminitis, how can owners safely transition their horse’s feed without negatively affectin...

Equine Postoperative Ileus Insights

When an owner sends a horse under the knife for colic surgery, he or she is first and foremost hoping the horse survives the operation. But just because he makes it through the procedure doesn't mean he's out of the woods: Many horses develop a dangerous complication called postoperative ileus—a lack of gut motility after surgery.

Lawsonia Prevalence Patterns Investigated

Yearly variability in exposure to a severe disease-causing bacterium of young horses appears to be different than previously thought. Despite the common belief that the incidence of equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE), a severe gastrointestinal disease of foals and long yearlings, spikes higher in some years than in others, researchers have recently fo...

Decoding Small Intestine Problems with Ultrasound (AAEP 2012)

The sooner a veterinarian is able to determine whether a colicking horse requires surgery, the better the horse's chances of survival. Colic originating in the small intestine can be particularly tricky since it is not always easily felt on rectal palpation. Ultrasound examination, commonly used in general equine practices for diagnosing pregnancies a...

Two Supplements' Effects on Nonglandular Ulcers (AAEP 2012)

According to several reports, veterinarians have identified equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) in up to 40% of Quarter Horses and 93% of Thoroughbred racehorses. EGUS can lead to poor body condition, disruptions in training, impaired performance, colic, and other complications, some of them quite severe. While many veterinarians and owners use FDA-appro...

Preventing Fall and Winter Colic

The fall is a time of lovely colors, family get-togethers, and winding down the busy show season. However, fall is often a time of increased colic calls to veterinarians. While not all colic episodes can be prevented, paying attention to equine management can go a long way to decrease the incidence and the suffering of episodes.

Top Equine Surgery Studies of 2012 (AAEP 2012)

Equine practitioners are undeniably busy individuals, making farm calls, caring for patients, and evaluating test results on a daily basis. To help veterinarians keep up to date on the most recent and relevant research, three veterinarians review the top studies in the fields of surgery, medicine, and reproduction at the annual American Association of Equ...

Digital Radiographs Beat Analog for Enterolith Detection

Veterinarians have known for many years that analog radiography is an efficient means of diagnosing enteroliths in adult horses, but computed, or digital, radiography has since replaced many analog machines. Researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) recently put the newer technology to the test and found it outperformed its predecessor...

Colic in Horses: When is Surgery Necessary?

When a horse is in the midst of a bout of colic, many owners wonder if their animal will need surgery to fix the problem. For those owners who have never experienced a referral to an emergency medical clinic for surgery or intensive care, understanding their veterinarian's decision on how and where to treat the colic can be confusing.

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