Recently we have seen a number of cases of severe sand colic. Most horses have presented with colic signs but some horse present with diarrhea. This is because the sand impaction allows liquid manure content to flow past the impaction.
Ultrasound and x-ray of the abdomen are important diagnostic tools in establishing a diagnosis of sand impaction when horses are not passing sand in their manure. The ingested sand drops to the bottom of the intestinal tract, mainly the large colon and can be seen on x-ray and ultrasound.
Most sand colics can be treated medically with analgesia, oral fluids, magnesium sulphate and psyllium. However, some of the more severe cases require surgery to relieve the impaction.
Prevention of sand colic is best approached by avoiding sandy paddocks. If this is not possible then feeding horses from feed bins and hay bags above the ground is advisable. The addition of psyllium to the diet is also recommended. We think that psyllium helps with intestinal movement, and agglutinates with the sand and allows it to pass through the gut as a gel. Psyllium is best fed daily for 5 to 7 days and then repeated every month until the horse has been removed from sandy paddocks. Psyllium administration should continue for 2 months after removal from sandy pasture.
Request a Booking
Our team will reply to confirm your appointment.