Conditions or ailments that are the cause of a problem that you see - your observation.

Your vet may diagnose

Infarcted Intestine or Colon

Synonyms: Verminous Arteritis


An infarction is an area of tissue that has lost its blood supply due to blockage of a supplying artery. Historically, before modern parasite control, one of the most common conditions causing an infarction and severe colic in horses was Verminous Arteritis.

In this disease the adult parasite of the bloodworm (Strongylus vulgaris) lives in and causes damage to the large arteries that supply large segments of the intestine with blood. The result is blockage of blood supply to the involved segment of intestine. The intestine dies and breaks down, allowing fecal contamination of the abdomen, peritonitis and death.

This condition is less common now but occasionally occurs, usually in horses that are not on an adequate parasite control program.

There are other conditions that result in infarction, but they are rare in horses.

my vet's role


Prognosis is poor without surgery and removal of the dead intestine, prior to infection of the abdomen.

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP