Summer colic casebook: the dangers during warmer months *H&H Plus*

  • Colic can occur at any time, but what are the dangers during warmer months? Andrea Oakes investigates

    WE’RE familiar with the risk of impaction colic in winter, when the move to an indoor lifestyle –together with a drier diet, possibly less exercise and often less inclination to drink – can combine to bring a horse’s intestinal movement to a grinding halt.

    But colics still occur in summer, when lush grass and sudden management changes can cause abdominal upsets. Since risks from issues such as internal parasites and dental problems are ever-present, vigilance is required year-round to keep the digestive system running smoothly.

    One seasonal danger is sand ingestion, which typically occurs before spring grass comes through or later in summer when pasture is poor. A grazing horse may swallow the sandy soil that is pulled up with the grass roots or splashed onto the grassy leaves by heavy rain after a dry spell.

    This feature is also available to read in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 3 June 2021

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