Equine Colic Types

Small colon lesions

Predispositions to disease


-smaller diameter than colon = site of  obstruction of stones and fecoliths

-mesentery (and vascular supply) can tear off  with extensive rectal prolapse ; this means the bowel dies

-Arabs, minis, ponies and younger horses are predisposed to small colon lesions (better able to maintain hydration by removing water from ingesta?)

Clinical signs

  1. mild signs of pain – usually simple obstruction; younger horses can seem pretty painful
  2. slow deterioration in condition

Even with vascular compromise, initial transient signs of severe abdominal pain -> depression and less severe pain

3.  potentially associated with greater risk of Salmonellosis


This is a poor area for healing

  • high mural collagenase
  • poor blood supply
  • high bacterial counts
  • firm formed manure passes by


Ponies, miniatures, and younger equids are at higher risk of fecalith obstruction compared to a general colic population. JAVMA | APRIL 2024 | VOL 262 | NO. 4


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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.