Morris Animal Foundation research to focus on equine colic


The organization has selected 5 studies to fund based on their ability to save equine lives.

Mark /

Mark /

Morris Animal Foundation has selected 5 new studies to receive funding this year focused on equine colic—a significant and potentially life-threatening disease.

“Colic consistently ranks among the top health concerns of horse owners and veterinarians,” said Janet Patterson-Kane, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS, Chief Scientific Officer of Morris Animal Foundation, in an organizational release.

“We decided to focus on this topic in this year’s equine call for proposals to advance our understanding of intestinal disease associated with colic and ultimately assist in improving outcomes for horses around the world,” she added.

According to the release, about 4 to 10% of horses will suffer from colic at least once in their lifetimes and this number may even be higher. Even though most can be treated successfully on the farm, about 10% need a referral for advanced care such as surgery.

Based on scientific excellence and impact, the Foundation’s Large Animal Scientific Advisory Board assessed each submitted grant application and chose the studies with the most potential to save lives, maintain health, and accelerate care for horses with colic.

The following equine colic studies are funded for 2022:

  • Studying Intestinal Inflammation: Two separate research teams will use variations of an approach to examine the interaction between inflammation and gut motility, to help develop methods of preventing ileus (reduced gut motility) following colic surgery. The findings could significantly assist recovery and reduce hospitalization times.
  • Understanding Risk Factors for Colic Secondary to Transportation: Researchers will search for colic risk factors related to transportation to create improved management suggestions for horses requiring transport.
  • Helping Underserved Communities Recognize Early Signs of Colic: Researchers will produce an educational program for horse owners in underserved Colombian communities to enhance early recognition of colic, a primary aspect of successful treatment.
  • New Prognostic Test for Postoperative Complications: Researchers will find biomarkers to detect horses at higher risk for postoperative surgical complications as an initiative to a new prognostic test.


Morris Animal Foundation announces new studies focused on equine colic. Morris Animal Foundation. January 27, 2022. Accessed January 28, 2022.

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