Colitis-X is a serious intestinal condition that is not very well understood. Often fatal, its cause is unknown although it appears to affect horses under stress such as stress caused by transport or surgery. This is often a catch-all term used when a more definitive diagnosis for the cause of the diarrhea has not been found.
This condition progresses extremely fast, with severe watery diarrhea being the most obvious clinical sign. The fluid loss from the diarrhea is so severe that dehydration quickly sets in, causing hypovolemic shock and death. Emergency treatment may be attempted, but it is rarely successful. The death rate for this condition approaches 100%.
Colitis-X is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning it is used when no other cause for the severe diarrhea can be found. Given the rapid progression of this disease, it is extremely challenging to institute treatment and determine a diagnosis before the death of the horse.
Necropsy (animal autopsy) can sometimes aid in the diagnosis of this condition, as all cases show similar damage to the lining of the intestines.
A condition of the blood in which the blood is poisoned due to the absorption of poisons
Something that is extremely acute; markedly acute
Something that relieves a condition’s symptoms without curing the condition
A medical condition in which the body has lost fluid or water in excessive amounts