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Evaluation of Intra-Abdominal Pressure in Horses That Crib


Corresponding Author

Amelia S. Munsterman, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS & ACVECC, Auburn University Large Animal Teaching Hospital, 1500 Wire Road, Auburn, AL 36849




To measure intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) in horses that crib and compare it with IAP in horses that do not have this vice.

Study Design

Cohort study.


Healthy cribbing horses (cribbing cohort, n = 8) and 8 healthy noncribbing horses (noncribbing cohort).


A microsensor catheter was introduced into the peritoneal cavity through the right paralumbar fossa, using local anesthesia, for measurement of IAP. These pressures were recorded in 1-minute intervals for 2 hours, while the horses were standing tied in a stall. IAPs of cribbing horses were compared to the noncribbing cohort.


Baseline IAPs were not significantly different between cribbing and noncribbing cohorts (P = .076); however, IAPs in the cribbing cohort were significantly increased when compared with the noncribbing cohort, during active cribbing behavior (P = .0016). Frequency of cribbing was not associated with increased IAP (P = .35). IAPs in the cribbing cohort remained significantly elevated compared with the noncribbing cohort, even after the behavior had ceased (P = .0002).


Cribbing is associated with increased IAP in the horse, both during and after the behavior.