The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) estimates that 1 in 10 horses will experience an episode of colic this year. This means more than 720,000 cases of colic are expected annually in the US and ~5.8 million cases worldwide. Sadly, colic-related problems result in over 120,000 deaths and $360,000,000 in annual losses, making it the leading natural cause of death in horses second to only old age. Fortunately, most horses experiencing a colic event respond to medical treatment, although when surgical intervention is required any delay in surgery greatly decreases their chances of survival.
Colic is described as generalized pain of the abdomen and can be the result of a variety of organ systems causing pain or discomfort. While 1 in 10 horses are expected to colic this year, the approximate 2.8 million performance horses in the US (ie, race and show horses) are over-represented in this statistic because their unavoidable lifestyle requirements put them at increased risk. Frequent travel, lack of turnout, feeding of a high-concentrate diet; the life of a performance horse is associated with a statistically significantly increased risk of colic. Behavioral habits/vices, such as cribbing or windsucking and weaving, also significantly increases the risk of colic, as does recent foaling, and especially previous colic or abdominal surgery. To most horsemen/women, dealing with colic is an unavoidable part of caring for horses, and identifying/treating early is critical. So how can we identify this overnight while they are alone and unsupervised? The NIGHTWATCH® smart halter™ can help.
The NIGHTWATCH® smart halter™ acts as an early-warning system for colic and other forms of distress. This sophisticated technology works by learning your horse’s “normal” and then looks for deviation in their normal HR, RR, and activity that correlates with possible pain or distress so you can be alerted and get to them sooner. Finally, a new age solution, for an age-old problem.