May 18 & 19, 2019
Wills Park Equestrian Center
The Colic Research Program
In its strictest definition, the word “colic” means abdominal pain. For years, the word colic caused horse owners to experience worry, frustration and a fear of losing their prized animal.
Fortunately, since the early 1980’s , horses with colic have a much better fate and horse owners can view colic with less trepidation. In a large part, this new view of colic has developed because of the efforts of the Colic Research Program at the University of Georgia. This program began with a horse owner in New York who made a donation to the College of Veterinary Medicine in memory of her horse that died of colic. In the subsequent 30+ years, members of the Colic Research Program have made many strides in the understanding of colic and its related complications. Through the five international colic research symposiums, veterinary researchers have learned the most current colic information and applied their new knowledge to the diagnosis and treatment of horses with colic presented to the Large Animal Teaching Hospital at the University of Georgia.
Survival rates for horses with colic are now at an all time high. Because of our college’s continued emphasis on colic, veterinarians in the field are now able to quickly diagnosis colic and decide which horses require intensive medical therapy or surgery. These horses can then be referred to the Large Animal Teaching Hospital for appropriate care.
Unfortunately, thus far colic has not been cured. The veterinarians in our Large Animal Teaching Hospital treat about 250 horses each year with colic, and about 100 of these require emergency abdominal surgery. Although the survival rate is good, complications such as thrombosis, adhesions and laminitis occur in some of the most severely affected animals. Consequently, these latter problems now serve as the focus of research for the faculty, research technicians and graduate students in the Colic Research Program. By identifying the mechanisms responsible for development of these complications, our veterinarians will develop new treatment techniques to further improve the fate of horses with colic.
Research on colic is expensive and there are few sources of funding for equine research. The nationwide funding rate for most equine-related research grant proposals is less than 10%. In contrast, research proposal from our colic Research Program have a much higher success rate. This is due, in part, to the fact that our research proposals always contain the results of preliminary studies funded by donations from horse owners and veterinarians. Thus these donations truly make the difference between a larger study being conducted or simply remaining on the drawing board. We appreciate you support, and use your tax-deductible donations to leverage additional research funding to help eliminate colic. We won’t stop until the problem has been solved.
Please join us.
Make donations payable to:
“The University of Georgia Foundation”
for the Colic Research Program
Director of Development
UGA, College of Veterinary Medicine
Athens, GA 30602-7373