OBJECTIVE To determine interval (1-year) prevalence of and factors associated with colic in horses hospitalized for ocular or orthopedic disease.
DESIGN Cross-sectional study.
ANIMALS 105 horses with ocular disease and 197 horses with orthopedic disease admitted to a veterinary teaching hospital between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012.
PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed to determine whether colic (abnormal behavior prompting abdominal palpation per rectum or nasogastric intubation) was observed during hospitalization. Data were collected on putative risk factors for colic, including reason for admission, signalment, and medical or surgical interventions received.
RESULTS No significant difference in interval prevalence of colic was identified between horses with ocular disease (8/105 [8%]) or orthopedic disease (9/197 [5%]). However, horses with ocular disease differed significantly from other horses in median age (10 vs 3 years, respectively); proportions of sexually intact males (3% vs 30%), Thoroughbreds (28% vs 62%), and those receiving general anesthesia (65% vs 80%); and median duration of hospitalization (3 vs 2 days). For every 1 mg/kg increase in daily NSAID dose, the odds of colic increased by 98%. No difference between groups was identified in median duration of colic (1 day), hospitalization (7 vs 3 days), or systemic NSAID administration (7 vs 5 days). Colic in both groups resolved with medical management for all but 1 horse with ocular disease.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Horses hospitalized for ocular disease were at no greater odds for colic than were horses hospitalized for orthopedic disease. Medical management of colic appeared adequate for most horses.