Recurrent colic in the horse: Incidence and risk factors for recurrence in the general practice population
Article first published online: 25 JUL 2011
© 2011 EVJ Ltd
Equine Veterinary Journal
Special Issue: Equine Colic. Guest Editors: T.S. Mair and C.J. Proudman. Publication of this supplement was supported by The Horse Trust
Volume 43, Issue Supplement s39, pages 81–88, August 2011
How to Cite
SCANTLEBURY, C. E., ARCHER, D. C., PROUDMAN, C. J. and PINCHBECK, G. L. (2011), Recurrent colic in the horse: Incidence and risk factors for recurrence in the general practice population. Equine Veterinary Journal, 43: 81–88. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2011.00383.x
- Issue published online: 25 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 25 JUL 2011
- [Paper received for publication 15.01.11; Accepted 12.03.11]
- recurrent colic;
Reasons for performing study: The frequency of recurrent colic in the UK equine general practice population is previously unreported. Elucidating risk factors for recurrent colic could provide a basis for clinical decision making and interventions.
Objectives: To determine the incidence rate of and risk factors for recurrent colic.
Hypotheses: Horse management, prophylactic health care and innate behaviour contribute to the risk of recurrent colic.
Methods: A cohort of 127 horses was enrolled at the point of a veterinary-diagnosed medical colic episode. Participating owners completed a baseline and 3 follow-up telephone questionnaires over one year. Clinical details of each colic episode were collected with data on management, behaviour and preventive healthcare. Incidence was calculated using time at risk data; non-time varying covariates were assessed for association with recurrent colic using multivariable logistic regression.
Results: The recurrence rate was 50 colic events/100 horse years at risk (HYAR). Including only veterinary attended recurrent colic episodes the incidence was 35 colic events per 100 HYAR. A multivariable logistic regression model was built to explore non-time varying risk factors for recurrence collected from baseline data. The model showed that horses that have a known dental problem (OR 5.5, 95% CI 1.3, 23.1) or crib-bite/windsuck (OR 12.1, 95% CI 1.4, 108.1) were at increased risk of recurrence during the year following a colic event.
Conclusions and potential relevance: The incidence of recurrence in horses following a medical episode of colic is high in this population and represents a welfare concern. The incidence rate can be used to compare intervention efficacy in similar populations. Identified risk factors could provide the basis for management interventions or highlight at risk individuals.