A cross-sectional study of colic in horses on Thoroughbred training premises in the British Isles in 1997
Article first published online: 5 JAN 2010
2001 EVJ Ltd
Equine Veterinary Journal
Volume 33, Issue 4, pages 380–385, July 2001
How to Cite
HILLYER, M. H., TAYLOR, F. G. R. and FRENCH, N. P. (2001), A cross-sectional study of colic in horses on Thoroughbred training premises in the British Isles in 1997. Equine Veterinary Journal, 33: 380–385. doi: 10.2746/042516401776249499
- Issue published online: 5 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 5 JAN 2010
The aim of this study was to estimate the incidence of colic in horses in Thoroughbred training premises in 1997 in the British Isles. The seasonal pattern and outcome of colic episodes were also investigated, together with any association between premises level variables and colic. Data were collected by a postal questionnaire.
The results showed a colic incidence density of 7.19/100 horse years (s.e. 0.42) and a cumulative incidence of colic of 5.80% (s.e. 0.30). Premises were grouped according to whether they had more Flat than National Hunt horses (Flat premises) or more National Hunt than Flat horses (NH premises). A similar rate of colic episodes was found in each group. However, significantly higher cumulative incidences of one episode of colic were found in the Flat premises and of multiple episodes in the NH premises, respectively. The outcome of each episode of colic showed spontaneous recovery in 28.7%, medical recovery in 63.1%, surgical recovery in 2.0% and death in 6.2% of cases. This indicated an overall mortality rate from colic of 0.45 deaths/100 horse years. The seasonal pattern of episodes of colic showed a spring and autumn peak, with significant differences in the seasonal pattern between the Flat and NH premises. Relative risk analysis and logistic regression modelling with random effects showed significant associations between the number of episodes of colic and the number of horses on the premises (allowing for the number of horses on each premises, the larger premises had a decreased risk of colic). After adjusting for the number of horses, 3 other variables were associated with colic; Flat premises (with an increased risk), the owner being the sole person looking after the horses (a decreased risk) and the premises being a combined training and breeding establishment (a decreased risk).