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Comparison of surgical versus medical treatment of nephrosplenic entrapment of the large colon in horses: 19 cases (1992–2002)

Sameeh M. Abutarbush BVSc, MVetSc, DACVIM1,2 and Jonathan M. Naylor BVSc, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN3
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  • 1 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 2 Present address is the Department of Health Management, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown C1A 4P3, Canada.
  • | 3 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.

Abstract

Objective—To compare the outcome of horses with nephrosplenic entrapment of the large colon (NSELC) treated surgically or medically by rolling, administration of phenylephrine hydrochloride (or both), and exercise.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—11 medically treated horses and 8 surgically treated horses with NSELC.

Procedure—Medical records of horses with nephrosplenic entrapment between 1992 and 2002 were reviewed. Medically treated horses were included if diagnosis and outcome of treatment of nephrosplenic entrapment were confirmed via transrectal examination and ultrasonographic examination. Surgically treated horses were included if the diagnosis was confirmed by exploratory laparotomy. Horses in which the large colon was entrapped between the spleen and body wall were not included.

Results—Significant differences in mean age, heart rate, and duration of colic prior to treatment were not detected between horses treated surgically or medically. Ten medically treated horses recovered without complications, and 1 died. In the surgically treated group, 6 of 8 horses recovered without complications and 2 died. Mortality rate did not differ between treatments. Duration of hospitalization for medically treated horses was significantly shorter and the cost significantly less than for surgically treated horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that medical treatment of horses with NSELC via administration of phenylephrine hydro-chloride, rolling during general anesthesia, or both appears to be as effective as and less expensive than surgical treatment. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:603–605)

Abstract

Objective—To compare the outcome of horses with nephrosplenic entrapment of the large colon (NSELC) treated surgically or medically by rolling, administration of phenylephrine hydrochloride (or both), and exercise.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—11 medically treated horses and 8 surgically treated horses with NSELC.

Procedure—Medical records of horses with nephrosplenic entrapment between 1992 and 2002 were reviewed. Medically treated horses were included if diagnosis and outcome of treatment of nephrosplenic entrapment were confirmed via transrectal examination and ultrasonographic examination. Surgically treated horses were included if the diagnosis was confirmed by exploratory laparotomy. Horses in which the large colon was entrapped between the spleen and body wall were not included.

Results—Significant differences in mean age, heart rate, and duration of colic prior to treatment were not detected between horses treated surgically or medically. Ten medically treated horses recovered without complications, and 1 died. In the surgically treated group, 6 of 8 horses recovered without complications and 2 died. Mortality rate did not differ between treatments. Duration of hospitalization for medically treated horses was significantly shorter and the cost significantly less than for surgically treated horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that medical treatment of horses with NSELC via administration of phenylephrine hydro-chloride, rolling during general anesthesia, or both appears to be as effective as and less expensive than surgical treatment. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:603–605)