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  • Author or Editor: Amy E. Plummer x
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Objective—To determine short- and long-term outcomes, including recurrence rates, for horses with cecal impaction treated medically or surgically.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—114 horses.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed for information on signalment, history, clinical findings, treatment (medical vs surgical), and short-term outcome. Information on longterm outcome was obtained through a mail survey and telephone interview with owners.

Results—54 horses were treated medically, 49 horses were treated surgically, and 11 horses were euthanized after initial examination without further treatment. Horses treated surgically were significantly more likely to have signs of moderate or severe pain than were horses treated medically. Forty-four of the 54 (81%) horses treated medically were discharged from the hospital. Twelve of the 49 horses treated surgically were euthanized at surgery because of cecal rupture. Thirty-five of the 37 (95%) horses that were allowed to recover from surgery were discharged from the hospital. In 34 horses treated surgically, typhlotomy without a bypass procedure was performed. Long-term (≥ 1 year) follow-up information was available for 19 horses treated medically and 28 horses treated surgically. Eighteen (95%) and 25 (89%) of the horses, respectively, were alive at least 1 year after treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that medical and surgical treatment were both associated with favorable outcomes in horses with cecal impactions. In this population, typhlotomy alone without cecal bypass was associated with a low recurrence rate. The long-term prognosis for horses that were discharged from the hospital was good.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association