Retrospective Study

The risk of flax versus straw bedding on ileal impaction in colic horses: Retrospective analysis of 2336 cases (2008-2017)

Authors
  • A. Dufourni
  • A. Decloedt
  • L. Lefère
  • D. De Clercq
  • P. Deprez
  • G. van Loon

Abstract

While mature coastal bermudagrass hay is strongly associated with ileal impaction in the Southeastern United States, stabling on flax bedding has anecdotally been associated with this condition in Europe. The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the association between ileal impaction and the use of flax shives compared to straw as bedding in horses with colic. Medical records of 2336 referral cases evaluated for abdominal pain between January 2008 and May 2017 at the Department of Large Animal Internal Medicine, Ghent University were reviewed. Diagnosis, date of admission, age, breed, gender, body weight and stable bedding were recorded. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association between ileal impaction and each individual variable. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were determined. Predictors with a value of P < 0.2 were included in a multivariable Cox regression model and Wald’s test was used to assess parameter estimate significance. Further, the association between survival to discharge and type of bedding or type of treatment (medical versus surgical) was analyzed for horses with ileal impactions. The proportion of colic cases stabled on flax bedding at home was 11.3%. The overall prevalence of ileal impaction was 4.2%. In the flax group, the prevalence of ileal impaction was 9.4% as opposed to 3.6% within the straw group. The OR of 2.8 (95% CI 1.7-4.7; P < 0.001) in the multivariable logistic regression model indicated that horses stabled on flax shives were approximately three times more likely to have ileal impactions than horses stabled on straw. There was no significant association found between ileal impaction and the period of admission, age, gender or body weight in a multivariable logistic regression model. The odds for having ileal impaction is approximately six times (OR 6.3; 95% CI 2.4-16.4; P < 0.001) higher in draft horses than in warmbloods in the multivariable logistic regression model. No significant association was found between survival to discharge and type of bedding or treatment. These results suggest that horses with colic that were housed on flax bedding are more likely to present ileal impactions than horses housed on straw.

How to Cite:

Dufourni, A., Decloedt, A., Lefère, L., De Clercq, D., Deprez, P. & van Loon, G., (2018) “The risk of flax versus straw bedding on ileal impaction in colic horses: Retrospective analysis of 2336 cases (2008-2017)”, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 87(5), 255-262. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/vdt.v87i5.16058

Downloads:
Download PDF
View PDF

1089 Views

136 Downloads

Published on
30 Oct 2018
Peer Reviewed