Online survey delves into decision-making around colic in horses


Horse owners are invited to complete an online survey relating to colic, as researchers at Britain’s University of Nottingham look to develop fresh material for their ground-breaking REACT colic campaign.

The university’s ongoing colic project has seen researchers collaborate with horse owners and veterinarians to develop evidence-based resources and recommendations which can aid in the early recognition and diagnosis of this dangerous condition.

Work to date has revealed colic as the most common emergency and non-routine condition, and the most concerning to horse owners and livery yard owners who responded to previous surveys.

Indeed, colic is considered the most common reason for veterinary attendance, excluding vaccination and routine dental care.

Now, researchers are looking to develop new materials for the REACT campaign focused around critical decision-making.

An online survey has been developed based on findings from interviews with owners and vets who have been through some of these decisions, to explore some of the potential factors affecting the decisions people make, such as cost, survival prospects and potential surgery outcomes in older horses.

It seeks to learn more about what horse owners know about colic and what they would do if their horse was to become severely ill.

Anyone who currently owns, or has a major role in emergency decision-making for horses, ponies, donkeys or mules in their care, is invited to complete the short online survey.

Participants must be 18 or over to be able to take part. They can be from outside of Britain.

The research is being undertaken by undergraduate veterinary student James Heale and doctoral student Katie Lightfoot, under the supervision of Sarah Freeman, who is a professor of veterinary surgery at the university.

The data will be analysed in September, with new materials for horse owners expected to be developed in November. They are expected to be released early 2020.

The survey can be found here.


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