Colic is every horse owner’s worse nightmare. A free online tool can help you assess your horse’s risk factors for colic. The tool has been created by the University Of Guelph to help horse owners decrease their horses’ chances for colic. The university also uses the tool to anonymously gather information to aid them in future research on colic.
Colic Risk Rater has a series of questions that will assess your horse’s risk for colic. There are 31 questions in 10 sections that should take you 10 minutes or less to complete. The areas covered are:
- Activity Level
- Dental History
- Parasite Management
- Colic History
- Other/Horse-Specific Factors
- Change Assessment
“The Colic Risk Rater provides a ‘snapshot’ in time of your horse’s risk of colic based on your current scenario,” noted the website. “Risk factors may be constantly changing and your colic risk will change accordingly.” Guelph also warns that this is merely a useful tool and should not take the place of consulting with a veterinarian.
Notes included in each section explain why a risk was higher depending on the way you answered the questions. While you are answering the questions you can change your answer and see the “rater” on the right-hand side of the page shift in real-time.
At the end, you get a results page for your specific horse based on your answers that have red, yellow, and green “lights” to tell you whether your horse has high-risk factors in that section. Take the time to read over the answers, even the ones where you are in “green.”
By Kimberley S. Brown