Acute colitis in horses. Part II. Initial management Academic Article uri icon


  • Although determining the causes of acute equine colitis can be vital in managing individual cases, the principles of initial treatment and control of the condition are the same for all cases. Part I of this two-part presentation (published in the January issue [Vol. 20, No. 1] of Compendium) considered the approach to determining the causes of acute colitis in horses. The second part discusses initial management of patients with the condition. Important sequelae to colitis are laminitis, hemodynamic renal failure, thrombophlebitis, fungal pneumonia, cholangiohepatitis, and peritonitis. Because colitis often has an infectious cause, efforts to prevent spread of the condition are important, particularly where there are groups of susceptible horses. Avoiding or eliminating known risk factors may be difficult or impractical. Vaccines to prevent equine ehrlichial colitis are commercially available. Managing horses with acute equine colitis can be difficult and confusing because there are many possible causes, clinical manifestations are variable and often severe, and treatment often must be intensive. Regardless of the cause, some components of treatment, control, and prevention are the same for all horses with acute colitis. The article presents an approach to the initial treatment, control, and prevention of acute equine colitis.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Cohen, N. D., & Divers, T. J.

complete list of authors

  • Cohen, ND||Divers, TJ

publication date

  • February 1998