Colic and Intestinal Parasites

Heavy burdens of tapeworms, large strongyles, cyanthostomins and ascarid worms can all cause colic in the horse

Some of these colic episodes will be minor, others may be very sever and can lead to death of the horse. As with all episodes of colic, this condition should be treated quickly by a veterinary surgeon. For more information about colic and its treatment please follow the link to our colic website.

coliking pony

Research from the University of Liverpool has demonstrated the association between spasmodic colic and heavy tapeworm infection. A nationwide study using data from 100 horses with spasmodic colic and 200 normal horses living close to the colic cases, demonstrated a significantly increased risk of colic in horses with tapeworm infection.

This study used the tapeworm ELISA test and showed that the risk of colic increased with tapeworm burden.

Colic graph

Research work by vets and parasitologists in the United States investigated the incidence of colic (including all types) on five different establishments each using a different worming programme. One conclusion from this study was that the better the worm control programe, the lower the incidence of colic.

For more information about this and other types of colic please follow the link to our colic website.