Four Facts About Sand Colic


Equine colic is a serious condition that should always be on your radar. Those that live in sandy areas must also be prepared for sand colic. The accumulation of sand in your horse’s digestive system can cause irritation, reduced absorption of nutrients, and blocked motility. It’s important to learn the facts!

The Basics of Sand Colic

  1. Horses residing in Western states like California and Arizona are more likely to experience this condition; however, don’t rule out other areas. Silt, gravel, and sand can be found in many soils. You should be extra cautious if your horse lives in a dry lot or eats off of the ground.
  2. You can test for large amounts of sand in horse’s digestive system in four different ways: a fecal flotation test, auscultation, x-rays, and exploratory surgery. Some of the symptoms include trouble maintaining weight, diarrhea, and colic.
  3. For medical treatment, your vet will try to lubricate and move along any obstructions. They will also offer pain and inflammation relief. A few methods include feeding psyllium mucilloid, administered magnesium sulfate through a nasogastric tube, and even performing surgery.
  4. You can try to prevent sand colic by using hay feeders, rubber mats in feeding areas, and there are various supplements that can help.

Know the facts, so that you can protect your horse!

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