Sand Colic & Impaction in Horses: Signs, Treatment & Prevention
Sand colic is a term for abdominal pain in horses caused by the ingestion of sand. Depending on the geographic region, five to thirty percent of all colic cases are caused by sand or sediment accumulation in the gut. Sand colic typically occurs in dry areas with poor vegetation growth. When horses forage, sand particles and other sediments (such as silt and gravel) are ingested and may remain in the large colon for long periods. Sand enteropathy or impaction occurs when sand accumulation damages the large intestine, leading to inflammation of the colon wall, distress or complete bowel obstruction. Without medical intervention, impaction colic can be fatal. Acute colic is a serious condition that requires medical attention. If your horse forages in a sandy region and presents clinical signs of sand colic, contact your veterinarian immediately.