As part of the ‘REACT Now to Beat Colic’ campaign, The British Horse Society (BHS) and the University of Nottingham are launching their first ever Colic Awareness Week on Monday April 1 – Sunday April 7 2019.
The week aims to raise awareness of the importance of recognising the more subtle, earlier signs of colic so that veterinary assistance, diagnosis and treatment can be sought quickly for this potentially fatal condition.
The campaign was launched as a result of five years of research by the University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science that found 90 per cent of horse owners did not feel confident spotting the early signs of colic. In addition to this, up to one in three cases of colic seen by vets as an ‘out of hours’ emergency were critical, requiring urgent veterinary care. Of these critical cases, more than 80% of horses were euthanised or died.
Since the campaign launched, the BHS have distributed nearly 30,000 colic packs and nearly 15,000 guides to horse owners and carers.
Emmeline Hannelly, Welfare Education Manager at the BHS said: “We are really excited to be hosting our first ever Colic Awareness Week with the University of Nottingham. Since we launched ‘REACT Now to Beat Colic’ in 2016, we have received so many positive responses from horse owners and vets as a result of the information we provide.
“Colic is still a huge welfare concern for horse owners due to the suddenness with which it can appear and the potential consequences that it can cause. I think that dedicating a whole week to raising awareness of the issues associated with the condition will help to provide owners with the information they need to make informed decisions about their horse’s welfare.”
Sarah Freeman, Professor of Veterinary Surgery at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham said: “Our colic research team is delighted to be working with The British Horse Society to raise awareness of colic. Colic is the most common emergency in the horse and can involve some really difficult decisions for owners. The Colic Awareness Week is a great new initiative to help owners recognise signs of colic early, act promptly and make the best decisions for their horses”.
Throughout the week, The BHS and the University’s Vet School will be providing top tips and videos on how to prevent colic. Veterinary practices across the country that are part of The BHS and the university’s ‘Vet REACT Colic Champions scheme’ will also be raising awareness of colic by sharing information with their clients throughout the week.
Horse owners can access more information about colic and get involved with the awareness week by following The BHS’s website: bhs.org.uk/colic and social media channels.