Your Horse Is At Risk


900,000 horses will colic this year
That estimate is from the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and it shows just how common colic is. What’s worse is colic can be very serious — in fact, more horses die from colic than any other condition.

Why is colic so common?
Unfortunately, many day-to-day barn events are proven to increase a horse’s risk of colic. The timeline below shows how many times Brady’s risk of colic increased in under six months!

Day 1: Grain Change

Despite an adequate daily serving of good hay, Brady has been losing weight, so his owner upped his grain a bit. What she didn’t know was that grain changes (in type or amount) can cause a 5X increase in colic risk.

Day 39: Deworming Dilemma

Brady’s owner forgot that the vet said he was due for dewormer. Unfortunately, parasites may cause intestinal inflammation, predisposing horses to GI disturbance.

Day 62: Show Time

Brady and his owner competed in a few classes at a local show. Unfortunately, his owner wasn’t aware that changes in exercise
routine have been linked to increased digestive upset.

Day 81: Laid Up

Brady hurt himself playing out in the field and now he has to spend six weeks on stall rest. Unfortunately, a sudden increase in stall time can cause disruptions in the normal digestive process.

Day 113: Hay is Here

Brady’s boarding barn received a new delivery of hay. While this sounds like delicious and welcome news, hay changes (feeding a new cutting or changing hay types) can cause a 10X increase in colic risk.

Day 137: Water Woes

With winter approaching, Brady’s water bucket is getting colder and colder, and he’s not a fan of icy drinks. Unfortunately, without adequate water intake, Brady may be at a greater risk for GI trouble, including impaction.

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4 comments on “Your Horse Is At Risk
  1. NANCY says:


    • SmartPak SmartPak says:

      Hi Nancy, thank you for asking! Both SmartGut and SmartGut Ultra are targeted supplements for supporting the health of the stomach. These supplements are recommended as options for horse owners with horses that have a history of struggling with gastric upset and/or gastric lesions. SmartDigest and SmartDigest Ultra are designed to provide support for hindgut health and proper digestive function. If you’re interested in reading more about foregut versus hindgut health in horses, check out the blog articles below! – SmartPaker Casey

      Foregut or Hindgut? That’s the Question Part 1:
      Foregut or Hindgut? That’s the Question Part 2:

  2. Janet says:

    Where did the colic risk figures, such as a change in hay causes a 10X increase, come from? Do you have any references to actual studies?

    • SmartPak SmartPak says:

      Hi Janet, thanks for your question! The colic risk factors mentioned in the article above are based on research studies; for the hay change statistic you specifically asked about, that fact comes from a study led by Dr. Cohen called “Dietary and Other Management Factors Associated with Equine Colic”. You can check out the abstract here: -SmartPaker Kerri

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