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Colic - Does age or breed play a role?

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  • Colic - Does age or breed play a role?

    Hello - I have no scientific data or reasoning behind this but was wondering (based on people's experiences, etc) if you think age and/or breed play a role in a horse's propensity to colic. Certain types of colic (enteritis for example) are most likely in older horses versus younger ones but what about impactions, etc?

    My question is do you think certain breeds are more prone to colic (for example TB's) or certain ages (under 5), etc. I will say, I'm sure in some instances breed does seem to play a role but not because of the breed itself, but more because of the use and management practices (think racing, etc).

    My breed of choice are TB's and the younger guys seem to have more frequent bouts whereas the old pros almost understand how to take care of themselves better.


  • #2
    I don't have anything to say for age, but I think some typical personality traits within a breed can lead to colic. Some TBs (and certainly not all) tend to be anxious worriers, and they can upset themselves and put themselves off feed and whatnot. Whereas, say a QH or WB tend to more relaxed (some of them, at least) and don't worry themselves as much.


    • #3
      Personality traits I could see being a factor.
      I had an OTTB gelding that colicked once in his life, as a 6 year old. His pasture pal, a 21 y/o Quarab colicked almost weekly, for no apparent reason.


      • #4
        No. As one who works PT at a emergency vet hospital I can tell you that colic doesn't discriminate. We get multiple cases in weekly - all breeds, genders, ages (including foals still with their moms), sizes... It doesn't matter. Yes some are due to management and how they are taken care of but most just happen with no known reason.
        Last edited by ryansgirl; Feb. 20, 2013, 10:18 PM.
        "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


        • #5
          I think some horses are just more prone than others, for whatever reason.

          If you just look at personality, my mare would be a perfect candidate for colic...hot, anxious, nosy, worrier, and poor drinker. But she's almost 19, and nary a colic her entire life. Go figure. (And yes, I am knocking madly on wood. )
          *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*


          • #6
            I'd guess age would be a factor. As any organism ages it's digestive efficiency drops and it becomes more susceptible to illness, injury, neglect, etc.

            As to breed, I'd reserve judgement.

            Colic in most cases is a sign of a husbandry management issue. There are are colics of "unknown etiology" but I'd be they are in the minority.

            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


            • #7
              Depends on the cause of the colic. Older geldings of the rounder types are more prone to strangulating lipomas, for example. Other types don't discriminate.


              • #8
                I've not noticed a discriminatory differentiation between colic and age/breeds, mainly just from care types.
                Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

                Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by equinekingdom View Post
                  I've not noticed a discriminatory differentiation between colic and age/breeds, mainly just from care types.
                  Expand please? Do you mean stalled vs. pasture board / types and/or frequency of feed / .... ?

                  Just trying to learn as much as I can before I become a horse owner who will be on a limited budget (although I do plan on taking out medical insurance, I would rather not have to be in a position to have to use it!)
                  At its finest, rider and horse are joined not by tack, but by trust. Each is totally reliant upon the other. Each is the selfless guardian of the other's very well-being.
                  (Author Unknown)