This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Evaluation Of Intra-Abdominal Pressure In Horses That Exhibit Cribbing Behavior




Albanese, Valeria

Type of Degree



Veterinary Medicine


Cribbing behavior in horses is associated with an increased incidence of small intestinal strangulation through the epiploic foramen. The suggested mechanism for this association is through changes in intra-abdominal pressure (IAP); however, the effect of cribbing behavior on IAP has not been previously researched. This study used 16 healthy horses to investigate the effect of cribbing on IAP. Eight healthy cribbing horses (cribbing cohort) and 8 healthy non-cribbing horses (non-cribbing cohort) were selected and a microsensor catheter was introduced into the peritoneal cavity through the right paralumbar fossa, using local anesthesia, for measurement of IAP. These pressures were recorded in one minute intervals for 2 hours, while the horses were standing tied in a stall. Upon data analysis, baseline IAPs were not significantly different between cribbing and noncribbing cohorts (P=0.08). However, IAPs in the cribbing cohort were significantly increased when compared to the non-cribbing cohort, during the period of active cribbing behavior (P=0.002). The frequency of cribbing was not associated with increased IAP (P=0.3). IAPs in the cribbing cohort remained significantly elevated compared to the non-cribbing cohort, even for the 30 minutes measurement taken after the behavior had ceased (P=0.0002). We concluded that cribbing is significantly associated with increased IAP in the horse, both during and after the behavior.