Is equine colic seasonal? Novel application of a model based approach

Archer, Debra C.; Pinchbeck, Gina L.; Proudman, Christopher J; Clough, Helen E.
January 2006
BMC Veterinary Research;2006, Vol. 2, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Colic is an important cause of mortality and morbidity in domesticated horses yet many questions about this condition remain to be answered. One such question is: does season have an effect on the occurrence of colic? Time-series analysis provides a rigorous statistical approach to this question but until now, to our knowledge, it has not been used in this context. Traditional time-series modelling approaches have limited applicability in the case of relatively rare diseases, such as specific types of equine colic. In this paper we present a modelling approach that respects the discrete nature of the count data and, using a regression model with a correlated latent variable and one with a linear trend, we explored the seasonality of specific types of colic occurring at a UK referral hospital between January 1995–December 2004. Results: Six- and twelve-month cyclical patterns were identified for all colics, all medical colics, epiploic foramen entrapment (EFE), equine grass sickness (EGS), surgically treated and large colon displacement/torsion colic groups. A twelve-month cyclical pattern only was seen in the large colon impaction colic group. There was no evidence of any cyclical pattern in the pedunculated lipoma group. These results were consistent irrespective of whether we were using a model including latent correlation or trend. Problems were encountered in attempting to include both trend and latent serial dependence in models simultaneously; this is likely to be a consequence of a lack of power to separate these two effects in the presence of small counts, yet in reality the underlying physical effect is likely to be a combination of both. Conclusion: The use of a regression model with either an autocorrelated latent variable or a linear trend has allowed us to establish formally a seasonal component to certain types of colic presented to a UK referral hospital over a 10 year period. These patterns appeared to coincide with either times of managemental change or periods when horses are more likely to be intensively managed. Further studies are required to identify the determinants of the observed seasonality. Importantly, this type of regression model has applications beyond the study of equine colic and it may be useful in the investigation of seasonal patterns in other, relatively rare, conditions in all species.


Related Articles

  • Síndrome cólica em equinos de uso militar: análise multivariável de fatores de risco. Laranjeira, Paula Vieira Evans Hossell; de Almeida, Fernando Queiroz; Lopes, Marco Aurélio Ferreira; Pereira, Maria Júlia Salim // Ciência Rural;set2009, Vol. 39 Issue 6, p1795 

    This research aimed to identify colic associated factors in horses of military units in Rio de Janeiro State: Regimento Escola de Cavalaria, Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras and Esquadrão Escola de Cavalaria. A case control study nestled in one coorte was conducted. A total of 770 horses...

  • Is your horse at risk? Goss, Steve; Pascoe, Elaine // Practical Horseman;Aug98, Vol. 26 Issue 8, p52 

    Provides information on sand colic, a problem that affects horses. Scenarios on the possible effects of sand in the gut; Treatment for sand colic; Its prevention. INSET: Is it colic?.

  • SPEAKING OF COLIC. Frank, Katie; Freckleton, Melinda // Equus;Mar2013, Issue 426, p18 

    In this article, the author provides information on the four common colic descriptions that exist among horses which include strangulating colic, medical colic and surgical colic.

  • A Stone's Throw from Colic. Moors, Debbie // Horse & Rider;Sep2004, Vol. 43 Issue 9, p85 

    Presents information on the risks of enteroliths, a common form of surgical colic, to the health of horses. INSET: STEPS TO TAKE.

  • Evaluation of Clinical and Laboratory Variables as Prognostic Indicators in Hospitalised Gastrointestinal Colic Horses. Ihler, Carl F.; Venger, Jostein Larsen; Skjerve, Eystein // Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica;2004, Vol. 45, p109 

    The present prospective study included 106 horses referred to the Department of Large Animal Sciences, The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, as non-responders to the initial colic treatment in general practise. In 14 of these cases a required surgical treatment was not performed due to...

  • Prospective study of the primary evaluation of 1016 horses with clinical signs of abdominal pain by veterinary practitioners, and the differentiation of critical and non-critical cases. Curtis, Laila; Burford, John Harold; Thomas, Jennifer Sara Marian; Curran, Marise Linda; Curtis Bayes, Tom; England, Gary Crane William; Freeman, Sarah Louise // Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica;10/7/2015, Vol. 57 Issue 1, p1 

    Background: The majority of research on the evaluation of horses with colic is focused on referral hospital populations. Early identification of critical cases is important to optimise outcome and welfare. The aim of this prospective study was to survey the primary evaluation of horses with...

  • nutrition. Pratt, Shannon E. // Horse Sport;Jun2008, Vol. 41 Issue 6, p34 

    The article answers a question on how to prevent colic in horses through nutritional management.

  • GOOD NEWS ABOUT FOALS AND COLIC. Barakat, Christine; McCluskey, Mick // Equus;Feb2014, Issue 437, p9 

    The article discusses the findings of a study from the University of Pennsylvania which revealed that 75 percent of young foals admitted to the university's New Bolton Center have survived colic.

  • Nonsense regressions due to neglected time-varying means. Hassler, Uwe // Statistical Papers;Apr2003, Vol. 44 Issue 2, p169 

    Regressions of two independent time series are considered. The variables are covariance stationary but display time-varying although not trending means. Two prominent examples are level shifts due to structural breaks and seasonally varying means. If the variation of the means is not taken into...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics