A horse can carry or more smaller enteroliths in his gut, or he may develop only one or two large ones. Often, the small ones pass. Enteroliths are one of the leading causes of severe colic in the state of California. The word enterolith is derived from the Greek terms “entero”. Enteroliths are mineralized concretions of magnesium ammonium phosphate ( struvite) that develop in the right dorsal colon of the horse.

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The American Journal of Gastroenterology. An enterolithiasis is a condition where mineral masses of struvite crystals made up of magnesium ammonium phosphate form in the intestine or colon of a horse. An enterolith typically forms within a diverticulum.

Horses with a partial obstruction of the right dorsal or transverse colon may display signs of chronic or recurrent colic, sometimes occurring over a period of weeks up to a year. In most cases, enteroloth that have expanded to the point that they are obstructing the digestion will have to be removed surgically.

Enteroliths in Horses – Kentucky Equine Research

Horsee minimizes the chance of contamination of the abdomen with intestinal contents. Enterolithiasis in Horses Book in. Calcium from the alfalfa and ammonia released by protein digestion allow minerals to precipitate and attach to foreign objects in the gut instead of being absorbed through the wall of the intestine.

Enteroliths are uncommon and usually incidental findings but, once found, they require at a minimum watchful waiting. Cresty Necks and Laminitis: Therefore, if a horse shows recurrent colic signs enterolitj with enterolith problems, researchers strongly advise taking diagnostic radiographs before making major adjustments to the diet.


The prognosis is excellent when surgery is performed early. The stones usually begin their formations around an indigestible object such as a small entsrolith or piece of cloth and grow as more minerals attach to it. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. Affected horses may show decreased appetite resulting in a drop in weight. Enteroliths are mineralized concretions of magnesium ammonium phosphate struvite that develop in the right dorsal colon of the horse.

Enteroliths in horses–a retrospective study of 30 cases.

Book me a walkiee? Search Library Entire Site. This association has been attributed to the cultivation of alfalfa on serpentine soilsresulting in high concentrations of magnesium in the alfalfa.

Treatment of Enterolithiasis in Horses.

Enteroliths in horses–a retrospective study of 30 cases.

Bowel obstruction and ileus typically occur when a large enterolith is expelled from a diverticulum into the lumen. Skip to content Home Equinews Enteroliths in Horses.

The classic presentation for a horse with an enterolith in many practices would be a 10 year old Arabian horse fed predominantly alfalfa hay with a history of multiple colic episodes. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Enteroliths too large to pass in the manure must be removed surgically. The addition of a cup enerolith two of vinegar or apple cider vinegar gorse been shown to be useful for reducing the pH of the hindgut of equines, but it cannot dissolve stones that have already formed, and no studies have shown a definitive effect on the formation of gut stones as of yet.


Navigation menu Personal tools The amount of alfalfa and wheat bran in the diet should be reduced and offering ample opportunity for turn out will add valuable roughage from grazing.

Enteroliths are a very important cause of colic in California and several other states.

Enterolithiasis in Horses

In horses with suspected enterolithiasis, abdominal X-rays are the most likely route to a diagnosis. Another is encouraging gut movement by increasing exercise and grazing time for horses that have been kept in the stall. hrse

In simple cases of obstruction, where there are no complications, a variety of non-surgical and surgical techniques are used to remove the enterolith. Stall-kept horses entefolith limited amounts of easily digested hay and grain may develop stones because there is less dietary residue in the gut, and this factor coupled with a lack of exercise leads to longer transit time for intestinal contents. Also see Medical Treatment of Colic in Horses. Management history can enteroloth identify horses that seem to be predisposed.

Most enteroliths are not apparent and cause no complications.