Sand colic is caused by the ingestion and accumulation of sand. This type of colic can present as mild, recurring colic similar to gas colic or stomach ulcer pain. Horses fed on or above sandy soil are at higher risk due to the likelihood of sand ingestion whilst they sift for dropped food or hay on the ground. Ingested sand typically accumulates in the large bowel, and can be diagnosed by listening to gut sounds, by radiographs, and by fecal sand test.
Prevention is the best strategy for managing sand colic. If your horse must be fed on or over sand, barriers such as mats, hay nets, and trough containers with drainage can help reduce sand ingestion.