REACT Now to Beat Colic
05 April 2019
1- 7 April 2019 is National Colic Week
To help horse owners combat the life-threatening condition of colic, The British Horse Society and The University of Nottingham have teamed up to create the REACT Now to Beat Colic campaign. Highlighting common causes, management tips and symptoms, national colic week aims to raise awareness of one of the most common emergencies affecting horse health.
Here at Westgate we offer several routine tests that can be built into a horse’s management plan to help monitor risk and protect horses from potential colic episodes. Parasite burdens and elevated sand levels in the horses gut are both identified as potential colic risk factors.
Extracts from The British Horse Society advice:
“It is important to maintain a strategic worm control programme to reduce the risk of high parasite burdens which can cause significant damage to the digestive tract, including disruption of the blood supply to the gut, ulcerations and perforations. A strategic programme includes pasture management, treatment based on monitoring faecal egg counts, monitoring tapeworm burdens by the use of a saliva test or blood test, selecting the most appropriate wormer and assessing the risks for different groups, such as younger and older horses.
“Do not allow horses to graze on sandy surfaces e.g. pasture with sparse grazing. This prevents the horse from ingesting particles of sand and dirt which can then accumulate in the gut. Ensure a constant supply of clean, fresh drinking water is available when the horse is at rest… If the drinking supply is from a silty natural water source this could lead to sand colic.”
We offer three easy lab tests that you can build into your management to help monitor risk and protect your horse.
- Regular worm egg counts combined with 2. EquiSal tapeworm tests every 6 months are the cornerstone of controlling parasite burdens which can cause significant damage to the digestive tract, including disruption of the blood supply to the gut, blockages, ulcerations and perforations.
- NEW! We now offer faecal sand testing too to monitor sand levels in the gut. Sand is a relatively common cause of colic in horses in certain parts of the country. Animals ingest it as they graze and it can accumulate in the colon over time. Here it irritates the gut lining and, in sufficient quantity, also has the ability to cause impaction of the gut which, if not treated in time, can be fatal.