Case Description—A 4-month-old Missouri Fox Trotter colt was examined for a 5-week history of head tilt after treatment for suspected pulmonary Rhodococcus equi infection.
Clinical Findings—Computed tomography revealed osteolysis of the occipital, temporal, and caudal portion of the parietal bones of the left side of the cranium. A soft tissue mass compressing the occipital region of the cerebral cortex and cerebellum was associated with the osteolytic bone.
Treatment and Outcome—A rostrotentorial-suboccipital craniectomy approach was performed to remove fragmented occipital bone, debulk the intracranial mass, and obtain tissue samples for histologic examination and bacterial culture. All neurologic deficits improved substantially within 3 days after surgery. Bacterial culture of the resected soft tissue and bone fragments yielded R equi.
Clinical Relevance—Intracranial surgery in veterinary medicine has been limited to dogs and cats; however, in select cases, extrapolation of surgical techniques used in humans and small animals can assist with intracranial procedures in horses.
Case Description—13 equids (10 horses, 2 donkeys, and 1 pony) were examined for signs of colic (n = 7), weight loss (6), anorexia (3), and diarrhea (2). Ten equids were evaluated in the fall (September to November). Seven equids had a history of persimmon ingestion.
Clinical Findings—A diagnosis of phytobezoar caused by persimmon ingestion was made for all equids. Eight equids had gastric persimmon phytobezoars; 5 had enteric persimmon phytobezoars. Gastroscopy or gastroduodenoscopy revealed evidence of persimmon ingestion in 8 of 10 equids in which these procedures were performed.
Treatment and Outcome—2 of 13 equids were euthanatized prior to treatment. Supportive care was instituted in 11 of 13 equids, including IV administration of fluids (n = 8) and treatment with antimicrobials (5), NSAIDs (5), and gastric acid suppressants (4). Persimmon phytobezoar–specific treatments included dietary modification to a pelleted feed (n = 8); oral or nasogastric administration of cola or diet cola (4), cellulase (2), or mineral oil (2); surgery (4); and intrapersimmon phytobezoar injections with acetylcysteine (1). Medical treatment in 5 of 7 equids resulted in resolution of gastric persimmon phytobezoars. Seven of 8 equids with gastric persimmon phytobezoars and 1 of 5 equids with enteric persimmon phytobezoars survived > 1 year after hospital discharge.
Clinical Relevance—Historical knowledge of persimmon ingestion in equids with gastrointestinal disease warrants gastroduodenoscopy for evaluation of the presence of persimmon phytobezoars. In equids with gastric persimmon phytobezoars, medical management (including administration of cola or diet cola and dietary modification to a pelleted feed) may allow for persimmon phytobezoar dissolution.