A study spearheaded by Dr. Sarah Freeman, of the University of Nottingham, found that large intestinal impactions, those of the cecum or large or small colon, are easier to resolve than blockages of the small intestine, though they can be difficult to diagnose, reports EQUUS magazine.
Large intestine impactions are often less painful and not as complex as small-intestine impactions, as there is more room for intestine distention. The mild, subtle pain a horse experiences can be difficult to discern, however, and might delay the procurance of a veterinarian.
Freeman and graduate student Kyra Jennings reviewed the records of 120 horses with large intestine impactions seen by vets in the field. They found that most cases (42.1 percent) occurred in the winter or after a management change (59 percent).