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What are some of the causes of horse colic?


Sand Colic:

Horses that ingest dirt and/or sand. Horses that are fed on the ground or have access to it may eat  dirt and sand. Pasture grasses and hays may contain both. Over time, the  dirt and sand will build up in the intestines and eventually can become one of the most significant causes of horse colic. The horse may be carrying 30-80 pounds before showing signs  of colic.  

Over feeding:

If a horse breaks into the feed area and gorges itself colic could result. 



Worm infestations disrupt circulation in the intestines, or blood clots and dead worms may cause  blockages resulting in symptoms of colic in horses.  

Irregular Feed Schedule:

This may cause a horse to  ingest feed too quickly if he gets really hungry. Feeding right after  work or if horse is still hot also can cause horse to come down with  colic.  

Sudden Changes in Feed:

When you change feeds, or introduce new feed, be sure you do so slowly!  

Bad Feed:

Moldy or rotten feed can cause colic in horses. 

Ingestion of Non-feed materials:

Stones, sticks, twine, and wood splinters are examples. Cribbers or horses that chew wood have a risk of swallowing bits of wood and this can be one of the causes of equine colic. 


Fine Grain:

Sometimes it will pack together and cause blockages in the intestine.  

Toxins or poisons:

Some toxins may cause colic. Moldy feed may contain toxins causing mold poisoning and colic.  

Twisted Intestines:

These are very severe and life-threatening.  There are different types of twists in different areas, and they each  have names. Here are a few: 

Strangulation: When parts of intestine become entangled in tears in the supportive membrane.

Incarceration: Intestine is caught in inguinal ring of male horses, and blood supply is cut off by twisting.

Intussusception: One part of the intestine falls into the other. More common in foals than older horses.