Equine Colic Types

Colic by breed, sex and job


Friesians are prone to gastric impactions and megaesophagus

Saddlebreds, Tennessee walking horses, Morgans and Standardbreds) are prone to inguinal hernias.

Miniature horses and ponies are prone to small colon impactions, fecoliths and enteroliths

Easy keepers (Quarterhorses, Arabs, Saddlebreds are prone to strangulating lipomas

Deep chested breeds (Warmbloods) are prone to colon displacements and torsions

Thoroughbreds and ponies are prone to intussusceptions

Thoroughbreds and taller horses are prone to epiploic foramen entrapments

Arabs, Appaloosas and Morgans are prone to cecal impactions

Arabs are prone to ileal impactions (and to colic in general)

Arabs, Saddlebreds, Morgans, donkeys and miniature horses are prone to enteroliths

Paints are associated with the gene for myenteric aganglionosis (lethal whites)


Stallions are prone to inguinal hernias, particularly with live covers (breeding mares).

Other types of colic have been associated with sex (male, female, gelding), as well

Job and location

Broodmares are prone to large colon volvuluses, cecal tympany, small colon impactions and mesocolon tears. Differentials include uterine torsions, uterine tear, uterine artery rupture and impending parturition.

Neonates and Periparturient Mares, Vet Clin Equine 39 (2023) 351–379

Performance horses may be more prone to right dorsal colitis and gastric ulcers

Horses in California, Indiana and Florida or more prone to enteroliths

Horses in the SE are more prone to proximal enteritis and ileal impactions


Horses that crib are prone to epiploic foramen entrapments



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Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes Copyright © by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.