It has long been believed that cribbers are more prone to colic. This has not been substantiated. Cribbers do wear their teeth at an unnatural angle that may cause problems with grazing and chewing. Horses unable to chew properly may be prone to nutritional deficiencies and can ingest sharp slivers of wood. The muscles on the underside of their necks can appear thicker, and stomachs can look distended although this is more cosmetic than a health risk. Foals born to mares that crib may be more likely to become cribbers themselves. Some horses seem to crib constantly and are difficult to keep weight on, while others crib very infrequently.
Cribbers can cause substantial damage. Some horses will grasp fence rails so aggressively as to pull them down. Others will take a bite of wood with each gulp, and chew through wood. Trees can be damaged, as well as stall doors and walls. For this reason many boarding stables will refuse to board a cribber or require the use of a cribbing collar.