A leading centre for equine colic research

The equine hospital is part of the University of Liverpool and has an international reputation for colic research.

Our discoveries continue to improve colic prevention, diagnosis and treatment in horses worldwide. We work with various researchers within the University of Liverpool and other research institutions, together with other equine clinics, to further our research.

Studies into reasons why colic occurs

Working with the veterinary profession and owners, we have conducted epidemiological studies to examine:

  • Factors that make horses more or less likely to develop colic;
  • Colic in donkeys;
  • Factors associated with the development of specific types of colic, such as epiploic foramen entrapment, large colon torsion and idiopathic focal eosinophilic enteritis.

Relating to this research we have investigated horse owners' understanding of equine colic and its causes, which is key to helping us to understand practical ways in which the chances of colic developing can be minimised.

The results have enabled us to provide information that can be used by veterinary surgeons to assist diagnosis of various types of colic more accurately. It can also assist decision making by veterinary surgeons and owners about the treatment of individual horses, based on the results of scientific studies.

We have also played a key role in investigating why equine grass sickness occurs and are working in collaboration with other researchers on ways in which this serious disease can be prevented.

Research into postoperative survival

We have conducted a large body of research into factors associated with survival following colic surgery. The work has provided us with vital information that can be used by veterinary surgeons and owners when making informed decisions about treatment based on prognosis.

Our findings also highlight the importance of surgery being performed at an early stage should this be required. This not only maximises horses chances of surviving following surgery but also reduces the chances of horses developing complications (and the associated costs of treating these).

Take part in our studies

Data contributed by veterinary surgeons and owners make an important contribution to our research. If you would like to help us please get in touch.