By: Dr. Lydia Gray
Enteroliths are stone-like formations in the colon of the horse that can cause obstruction and colic. Usually made up of the minerals magnesium and phosphorous, they form around such strange materials as cloth, hair, gravel, metal, plastic and shavings. There is a much higher incidence of enteroliths in California and the southeast US. All breeds and genders can form enteroliths, but Arabians and mares seem to be more prone to condition.
Because the only treatment for enteroliths is surgical removal, owners of at-risk horses are encouraged to do what they can to try and prevent the stones from forming:
Any horse that shows abdominal pain (colic) should be examined as soon as possible by a veterinarian. Depending on the size and number of intestinal stones, where they are located in the GI tract, and how much damage has been caused, colic from enterolith can be sudden and very painful or chronic, mild and intermittent. Horses with enteroliths may also lose weight, go off feed, and appear lethargic.
About Dr. Lydia Gray