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What is Constipation in Horses?

Constipation in horses is a condition that is normally defined as the inability to move waste through the body in the proper manner. When this happens, the waste can build up in the bowels and cause other health issues. Read below where questions have been answered by Experts.

What causes constipation in horses?

Constipation can be caused from a dietary issue or another kind of medical problem. If this is not treated in a timely manner, other issues can arise. Some of the following issues can cause constipation: 

  • Feed not containing enough bran
  • Obstruction in the bowels 
  • Parasites 
  • Dehydration 
  • A decrease in exercise 
  • Dental issues 

Is there a home remedy for constipation and when should it be taken to a vet?

Owners may be able to give the horse two pints of mineral oil every four hours. If this home remedy does not work to move the waste through the body, owners may need to have the horse seen by a vet to help determine if there is another medical issue present.

Can dirt and sand cause a horse to have a blockage causing constipation?

When there is a sign of colic, constipation can often be a side effect. If the horse is grazing on short pastures, sand and soil can cause a blockage. A vet may administer some mineral oil in order to help with the constipation.

When a horse has constipation, can an impaction be the cause and how can a vet treat this?

When a horse has a difficult impaction in the colon area, there may be some form of constipation. When this happens, horses may need to be seen by a vet to have the impaction examined. Some treatments a vet may provide can help move the impaction through the colon, while other impactions may need surgery. In some cases, mineral oil and pain medications can clear the impaction up within a few days.

Can foreign objects cause constipation in a foal and will removal of the object clear it up?

When a foal is young, eating foreign objects can cause the foal to become constipated. When the constipation is noticed, the foal may need to be seen by a vet to determine if the foreign object has caused an obstruction in the bowel area. If there is an obstruction, a vet may treat this. When the obstruction is removed, the constipation should clear up within a few days.

What would a vet do to treat constipation if there are no signs of the horse getting better?

When there is an issue with constipation in a horse that does not show any signs of getting better, the vet may try the following treatments: 

  • Sedation 
  • Extra fluids through the body 
  • Mineral oil through a tube 
  • Pain medications 
  • Surgery, if the other treatments do not work 


Constipation in horses can cause owners and even horses stress. Many things can cause the horse to become constipated, causing questions regarding the treatment to arise. When these questions or any other questions about constipation in horses are in need of answers, the owner may want to ask Experts.

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