Items

Forums
How To Prevent Sand Colic
 By Winniefield Park   •   5th Oct 2013   •   7,116 views   •   0 comments
Preventing Sand Colic

A while ago, Polo the Weirdo wrote a great article on sand colic detailing the causes and how to identify a horse with sand colic. Colic, after all, can be caused by anything from a change in the weather to something catastrophic, like a telescoped or perforated intestine. Colics can be mild and fleeting or they can be devastatingly painful and fatal.

Polo the Weirdo Article: Sand Colic
Related Article: My Horse Dakota Put Down For Falling

Sand colic refers to the symptoms a horse may show when the sand load in the gut is a problem. It is also called sand enterocolopathy or gastric sand accumulation. Sand colic is more common where there is little grass covering the ground in pastures and paddocks. Places like the US West Coast, Arizona and other sandy areas see more sand colic than areas where pasture grows thick and lush.

So, sand colic differs from other colics in that it has a very specific and easily identifiable cause: sand load causing impaction or damage to the intestine. Sand not only causes impactions, but can also erode the intestinal walls leading to impaire food digestion, allow toxins in, or cause painful blood constrictions to some portions of the intestine. The weight of the sand can also cause a portion of the intestine to flip or twist, and may even cause the intestine to rupture. Damage can be done before you realize there's a problem. And that's why the horse can appear colicky, and the prevention is more important than the cure.

So we know why horses get sand colic, but what can we do about it? Well, as Polo pointed out, keep horses' feed off of the ground. That's a good start. But did you know that a pasture potato may be more susceptible to sand colic than say, Polo's eventers? Why? Because a good trot or canter helps the movement of digested food through the intestine. Several times a week, your horse should be going for a good trot or canter. A leading expert on sand colic I spoke to while researching the subject said, “The horses that don't have any sand in their intestines are performance horses — the ones that are working regularly. Even a brisk fifteen-minute trot will help clear the sand out.”

He also suggests that if you suspect your horse has a load of sand in its gut, a ride down a bumpy back road in a horse trailer can also help clear things out. A lot of us know what happens as soon as we put our horses on a trailer anyway, so a little shaking up might really help.

Several studies have shown that psyllium is not effective for removing sand from the gut, others seem to prove it is. Different horses seem to react to treatment in different ways. In one often cited study, twelve healthy pony geldings were tube fed sand and the amount in the manure was monitored. The control group was fed no pysllium, but the test group was fed a single dose of pysllium. After eleven days, necropsy showed little difference in the sand load between the ponies. Other studies have shown the opposite. Wheat bran, however, has been proven ineffective.

If the sand load becomes great, surgery may be the only option. This is costly and hard on your horse. By the time surgery is needed, irreparable damage may already be done. The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure means applies here. It only takes small adjustments to your horse's feed and exercise routine, but may be well worth it when it comes to sand colic prevention.


Image Credit: © Irina Yeskina | Dreamstime.com
Horse News More PB Articles About:  colic,
Horse News More In This Category:  Care and Grooming      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
 Related Horse News
Sand Colic
11th Sep 2010   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
What is an impaction, you ask? Well, I suppose it could be compared to human constipation. The horse has a blockage in its intestine, so it cannot pass any droppings or gas from the other side of that blockage. A horse being allow ...
How To Prevent Sand Colic
5th Oct 2013   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
A while ago, Polo the Weirdo wrote a great article on sand colic detailing the causes and how to identify a horse with sand colic. Colic, after all, can be caused by anything from a change in the weather to something catastrophic, ...
Was Sure My Horse Had Colic
17th Feb 2018   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
I let her out, and she strolled to the middle of the paddock, where she stopped and gave two cow kicks, then she pooped. Then she stood there, head down. I went from alarmed to really alarmed. I checked her pulse and nothing seeme ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Winniefield Park
Horse Side Vet Guide App
16th Jul 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
Horse Side Vet Guide was created so that you’d have important information at your fingertips no matter where you are - whether you have cell signal or wifi or not. Much of the content, concerning situations that are most likely to ...
The Columbus Mounted Police Unit
14th Jul 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
If you’ve ever wondered how mounted police units desensitize their horses to working around crowds in stressful situations, the Columbus Mounted Police unit provides a glimpse into their training process. ...
Horse Manure Turned Into Beer
13th Jul 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
At a meeting in Germany, scientists are looking for ways to monetize carbon dioxide emissions. And horse manure has been part of the discussion. Dried manure has been used as a fuel for centuries. And methane gas made from manure ...
Horse Health Tracker
6th Jul 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
There are many equine health apps out there and it’s hard to choose one that will suit your particular situation. Horse Health Tracker from the folks at Equine Guelph is an app for Android or iPhone that helps you keep records of ...
Tampa Bay Beach Horse Ride Mess
5th Jul 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
Manure is also in the news along beaches in Florida. Horseback riders in the Tampa Bay area are being accused of fouling the water and destroying the natural beach habitat. Both private horse owners and tourist operations offering ...
Horse Farriers in Ethiopia
4th Jul 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
Car tires, wood nails, knives and mallets. These are the tools used by farriers in Ethiopia for shoeing the horses and donkeys that are essential to their owners’ livelihoods. ...
Horse Band Member with Andrew Haung
30th Jun 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
Does your horse play the guitar, drums or flute? Andrew Haung might be interested in hearing it play. Haung is a musician and Youtube video producer who loves to find music in unexpected places. He is internet famous for his music ...
Equine Autism and Depression Therapy
23rd Jun 2019   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
With an awareness of what it takes to stay mentally health and recover from mental issues comes many, what seem like, novel approaches to treatments. One treatment is equine therapy designed to help those dealing with mental healt ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2019   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
417 Members Online 248,032 Registered Members 2,590 News Articles 10,892,151 Unique News Article Views 251,785,179 Website Views