Gastrointestinal obstruction

Attention! This is a potentially life-threatening condition for your horse. Time is of the essence, contact your veterinarian immediately.Find a Vet

Gastrointestinal Obstruction

Gastrointestinal obstructions are common in horses. Blockages can occur in any part of the digestive tract and can cause sharp and severe pain. These obstructions can stop the flow of food through the digestive tract and, in some instances, impair blood flow or cause damage to intestinal tissues. Broodmares may be predisposed to obstructions, especially during pregnancy and shortly after giving birth. Standardbred stallions and colts develop inguinal and scrotal hernias more commonly than other breeds


Rapid heart rate
Change in mucus membrane color
Lack of gut sounds
Colic signs


  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Laboratory tests
  • Surgery



Medicine to relieve pain
Fluid treatment
Intestinal lubricants
Surgery may be required by an ACVS board-certified surgeon


Scientific Research

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