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Large Colon Impactions in Horses: A Wintertime Concern - Mad Barn - Vet Talk
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Impactions are a common cause of colic in horses and a concern for every horse owner. Many horse owners recognize that the risk of developing an impaction increases in the winter months. So what changes in the winter to make impactions more common? And what can we do to prevent them?

Join Dr. Fran Rowe, DVM, one of Mad Barn’s Veterinary Nutritionists, to learn more about impaction colic in horses, specifically large colon impactions. In this video, Dr. Rowe explains how impactions form, common predisposing factors to large colon impaction, and prevention strategies.

Impactions can occur throughout the gastrointestinal tract, but the most common location is the large colon. They often form due to a combination of dry, hard feed material that becomes stuck within the colon, and reduced GI motility that slows the transit of digesta through the colon.

Predisposing factors to impaction formation include:

– Poor dentition
– Ingestion of poor-quality forage
– Inadequate water intake
– Stress associated with trailering or change in environment
– Increased time stalled
– Changes in exercise

When we think about why winter is a common time for impaction colic, it comes down to a combination of these predisposing factors happening together. Generally, horses are transitioned onto a hay-only diet and might not drink as well. They’re stalled more often due to inclement weather and their exercise level decreases. The combination of these diet and management changes creates the perfect storm for large colon impaction formation.

The good news is that impactions can be preventable if horse owners are mindful of how they undertake the transition into wintertime and monitor their horses closely.

Tune in the Dr. Rowe’s presentation to learn more about large colon impactions and how to avoid them.

Learn more about impactions in horses 👉 https://madbarn.com/impaction-colic-in-horses/

Have ideas for topics to cover or questions about your horse’s health? We would love to hear from you! Please send any questions or comments to vet@madbarn.com.


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