After declaring 2013 the ‘Year of Colic Prevention,’ Equine Guelph has announced the release of its latest online health care tool – the Colic Risk Rater. This free, customized tool is designed for the individual horseperson to rate his/her horse’s risk of colic.
The Colic Risk
Rater assesses and calculates colic risk while providing useful feedback on
management practices through a series of questions in 10 categories, requiring
less than 10 minutes to complete.
The goal of the Colic
Risk Rater tool is to provide horse owners a simple way to determine if
their horse is at a high risk for colic, given the horse’s personal scenario.
After each question, the risk rater dial will fluctuate back or forth,
revealing the constantly changing risk – and in the end, providing an overall
colic risk rating calculation for each horse.
became the horse’s arch nemesis thousands of years ago when humans started
taking horses out of their natural environment. The use and management of
modern horses are a huge departure from their wild counterparts, placing them
at a higher risk of colic.
Logically, it follows
in Dr. Christine King’s writings from “Preventing Colic in Horses” that 80%
of colic cases are management-related. Dr. Crossan, guest speaker in Equine
Guelph’s colic prevention eWorkshop, concurs with Dr. King’s staggering
statistic. “Experts agree that the majority of colic’s are a result of
management practices,” says Dr. Crossan. “Prevention through management is the
best course of action when it comes to colic.”
Thus, horse owners
can play a major role in reducing colic risk through management. Owners must be
aware of the risk factors, especially the ones we can manage such as feeding,
housing, parasite control and stress.
The Colic Risk
Rater is one more crucial tool in the horse caregiver’s arsenal, designed
to identify the risk factors and provide prevention tips, aiming to minimize
needless pain and suffering of our equine companion. Given that colic is the
number one killer of horses (other than old age), the 10 minute investment in
this free tool is invaluable.
In addition to funding
from Standardbred Canada, investment in this project has been provided by
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation
Program (CAAP). In Ontario, the Agricultural Adaptation Council delivers this
program. Partners include: Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Horsemen's
Benevolent and Protective Society of Ontario, Ontario Association of Equine
Practitioners, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Ontario Harness Horse Association
and the Ontario Veterinary College.
To check out the Colic
Risk Rater or to find out more about Equine Guelph’s Colic Prevention
Programs including the upcoming fall eWorkshop, scheduled for September
9 -22, visit http://equineguelph.ca/eworkshops/colic.php.