Feeding practices associated with colic in horses. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine whether specific feeding practices were associated with development of colic in horses. DESIGN: Prospective matched case-control study. ANIMALS: 364 horses examined by veterinarians in private practice in Texas because of colic (cases; n = 182) or any other reason (controls; 182). PROCEDURE: Participating veterinarians were sent forms at the beginning of the study to collect information on signalment, feeding management practices, farm management practices, and preventive medical treatments. Case and control horses were compared by use of conditional logistic regression to identify factors associated with colic. RESULTS: Risk factors for colic were a recent change in batch of hay, decreased exposure to pasture, a recent change in type of grain or concentrate fed, feeding > 2.7 kg (6 lb) of oats/d, feeding hay from round bales, and Thoroughbred breed. Recent anthelmintic administration decreased the risk of colic. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggest that certain changes in diet (eg, change in batch of hay, change in type of grain or concentrate, feeding hay from round bales) and management (eg, decreased availability of pasture) increase the risk of colic in horses.

author list (cited authors)

  • Hudson, J. M., Cohen, N. D., Gibbs, P. G., & Thompson, J. A.

citation count

  • 139

publication date

  • November 2001