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Comparing methods of removing sand from the large colon of horses

K. Niinist, M. Hewetson, R. Kaikkonen, B. W. Sykes, M. Raekallio

THE accumulation of sand in the large colon of horses can lead to colic, weight loss and diarrhoea. Treatments for the removal of sand from the large colon include the administration of psyllium mucilloid (psyllium) and magnesium sulfate. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of the enteral administration of psyllium and magnesium sulfate alone and in combination for the removal of large accumulations of sand in the colons of horses.

A total of 34 horses presented to a clinic in Finland were included in the study. All horses were diagnosed as having large accumulations of sand in the colon by radiological examination. Horses were randomly allocated to one of three treatment groups: psyllium (1 g/kg, 12 horses), magnesium sulfate (1 g/kg, 10 horses) and a combination of the two, both at 1 g/kg (12 horses). All medications were mixed with water and administered once a day for four days via nasogastric intubation. On day 4, radiological examination was performed for a second time and the amount of sand present was assessed.

Of the 12 horses treated with a combination of the two agents, nine (75 per cent) had …

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