In order to consider all factors influencing the development of colic, the investigation of many parameters is essential. The aim of this study was to determine risk factors for colic in Austria considering nutritional, individual, environmental and management factors. It also aims to finalize the correlation between the serum alkaline phosphatase activity and serum bile acids concentrations, biogenic amines in both feces and blood, fecal bacteria and colic with regard to predisposition, diagnosis and prognosis. A hospital-based study was conducted in this study and 2743 horses arrived at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna during the 1 year study period.
Of these horses, 366 had colic. In this study, 155 feed samples from 51 colic horses and 66 feed samples from 26 non-colic horses were examined by sensory evaluation for both hygienic quality of the food and quantity of nutrients. 177 feces samples and 187 blood samples were taken from colic horses on the day of admission. 34 feces samples were collected from non-colic horses. C. perfringens was identified in 15.2 % of feces samples and 8.8 % of the feces samples from non-colic horses. C.
difficile and Salmonella spp. were identified in from none of the investigated feces samples. Both serum alkaline phosphatase activity and serum bile acids concentrations were not significantly different between medically treated horses and surgically treated horses or between survived horses and non-survived horses. The result of this study is that consuming high hygienic quality of feed and lower amount of concentrate feed can decrease the risk of occurrence of colic in horses.