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Objective

To obtain information from specialists in equine surgery as to prevalence of, predisposing factors for, and methods to prevent postoperative adhesion formation in horses undergoing abdominal surgery.

Design

Survey.

Procedure

Surveys were mailed to 196 diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons involved in equine practice.

Results

60 (31%) surveys were returned. Most respondents (55/60) routinely informed clients of the risk of postoperative adhesion formation in horses with small intestinal lesions. When asked after which procedures they routinely used measures to prevent adhesions, 56 of 60 (93%) indicated that they did after small intestinal resection and anastomosis and 56 of 60 (93%) indicated that they did after any abdominal surgery in foals. The 4 methods most frequently listed when respondents were asked which methods were effective at preventing adhesion formation were meticulous surgical technique, administration of antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, intraoperative peritoneal lavage, and methods that prevent abdominal contamination. Most respondents (50/60) thought that at least some horses with colic secondary to adhesion formation could be managed medically. Fifty-four (90%) respondents indicated that they were successful less than half of the time when treating horses with adhesions severe enough to require additional surgery.

Conclusion

In general, respondents thought that less than 15% of horses undergoing abdominal surgery would develop adhesions, but that horses with small intestinal disease and foals were most prone to develop adhesions. Meticulous surgical technique was thought to be the most important factor in preventing adhesions, and many prevention regimens reported to be effective in the literature were not commonly used in practice. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:1573–1576)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine current practices regarding use of antimicrobials in equine patients undergoing surgery because of colic at veterinary teaching hospitals.

Design—Survey.

Sample Population—Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons performing equine surgery at veterinary teaching hospitals in the United States.

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)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association