Objective—To document causes of colic in equine neonates, evaluate clinical features of neonates managed medically versus surgically, determine short- and long-term survival rates for neonates with specific medical and surgical lesions, and assess ability of patients to achieve intended use.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—137 client-owned equine neonates (< 30 days old) with a history of colic or signs of colic within 1 hour after hospital admission examined between 2000 and 2010.
Procedures—Signalment, history, results of physical examination, laboratory data, ancillary diagnostic tests, details of treatment, primary diagnosis, concurrent diseases and short-term survival rate were obtained from the medical records. Long-term follow-up information was obtained through phone survey.
Results—137 neonates with colic were included. The majority (122 [89%]) of neonates were managed medically. The 3 most common diagnoses associated with colic were enterocolitis (37 [27%]), meconium-associated colic (27 [20%]), and transient medical colic (26 [19%]). The most common reason for surgery was small intestinal strangulating obstruction, and these neonates were more likely to have severe, continuous pain and were less responsive to analgesics. Concurrent diseases were common (87 [64%]) but did not significantly impact survival rate. Short-term survival rate was not significantly different between medically (75%) and surgically (73%) managed neonates. Long-term survival rate was excellent (66/71 [93%]) for horses that survived to hospital discharge. Most neonates surviving to maturity were used as intended (49/59 [83%]).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Most neonates examined for signs of colic can be managed medically. Short-term survival rate in medically and surgically treated neonates was good. Long-term survival rate of foals discharged from the hospital was excellent, with most achieving intended use.
Objective—To determine current practices regarding
use of antimicrobials in equine patients undergoing
surgery because of colic at veterinary teaching hospitals.
Sample Population—Diplomates of the American
College of Veterinary Surgeons performing equine
surgery at veterinary teaching hospitals in the United
Procedure—A Web-based questionnaire was developed,
and 85 surgeons were asked to participate. The
first part of the survey requested demographic information
and information about total number of colic
surgeries performed at the hospital, number of colic
surgeries performed by the respondent, and whether
the hospital had written guidelines for antimicrobial
drug use. The second part pertained to nosocomial
infections. The third part provided several case scenarios
and asked respondents whether they would
use antimicrobial drugs in these instances.
Results—Thirty-four (40%) surgeons responded to
the questionnaire. Respondents indicated that most
equine patients undergoing surgery because of colic
at veterinary teaching hospitals in the United States
received antimicrobial drugs. Drugs that were used
were similar for the various hospitals that were represented,
and for the most part, the drugs that were
used were fairly uniform irrespective of the type of
colic, whereas the duration of treatment varied with
the type of colic and the surgical findings. The combination
of potassium penicillin and gentamicin was the
most commonly used treatment.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of
this study document the implementation of recommendations
by several authors in veterinary texts that
antimicrobial drugs be administered perioperatively in
equine patients with colic that are undergoing surgery.
However, the need for long-term antimicrobial drug
treatment in equine patients with colic is unknown. (J
Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1359–1365)
Objective—To assess the long-term clinical outcome
of horses with distal tarsal osteoarthritis (OA) in which
a 3-drill-tract technique was used to induce arthrodesis
of the affected joints, identify any preoperative or
operative factors associated with outcome, and
describe any complications associated with the technique.
Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for information
on signalment, use, history, physical and
lameness examination findings, surgical technique,
and postoperative care. Radiographs were examined,
and severity of OA was graded. Follow-up information
was obtained through telephone interviews with
owners at least 13 months after the procedure.
Results—32 (59%) horses had a successful outcome,
6 (11%) improved but were not sound after
surgery, and 16 (30%) did not improve following
surgery. Outcome was negatively associated with the
previous use of intra-articular injections. Few postoperative
complications were evident.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest
that distal tarsal OA in horses can be successfully
treated by means of distal tarsal arthrodesis with
a 3-drill-tract technique. Horses with advanced distal
tarsal OA are likely to have poorer outcomes, and the
procedure will likely be of minimal benefit in horses
with concomitant causes of hind limb lameness prior
to surgery and in horses with preexisting proximal
intertarsal joint disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;