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Vet Res. 2002 Nov-Dec;33(6):641-52.

Risk factors associated with colic in horses.

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Laboratoire de Nutrition des Herbivores, ENESAD, 26, boulevard du Dr Petitjean, BP 87999, 21079 Dijon, France.


Many factors have been identified as risk factors for colic in horses in several epidemiological studies. The aim of our paper was to review the results of 12 epidemiological studies, in order to assess the impact of each risk factor for colic. According to the literature, the factors that increase the risk of colic are feeding practices (type and quality of food, type and changes of feeding), the intrinsic factors of horses (sex, age and breed), management (type and changes of housing and activity), medical history (a previous colic, administration of a medical treatment) and parasite control (the presence of worms and type of deworming program). Several individual factors were incriminated as risk factors by all the studies. Nevertheless, the different studies did not always agree on the role of other risk factors. The conclusions were tightly related to several criteria in the selection of the study population, like the type of the epidemiological study, the number and the origin of horses included and the location of the study.

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