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Objective—To determine the effect of ranitidine on gastric emptying in horses.

Animals—11 adult horses.

Procedures—In vitro, isolated muscle strips from the pyloric antrum and duodenum of 5 horses were suspended in baths and attached to isometric force transducers. Once stable spontaneous contractions were observed, ranitidine or diluent was added at cumulative increasing concentrations. Isometric stress responses were compared. In vivo, 6 horses were assigned to a group in a prospective randomized crossover study design with a wash-out period of 2 weeks between trials. Ranitidine (2.2 mg/kg) or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution was administered IV, and 15 minutes later, acetaminophen (20 mg/kg), diluted in 400 mL of water, was administered via nasogastric tube to evaluate the liquid phase of gastric emptying. Serum acetaminophen concentration was measured at several time points for 3 hours by use of liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Frequency of defecation was recorded during the 3 hours of the study.

Results—Ranitidine increased the contractile activity of the pyloric antrum smooth muscle at a concentration of 10−4 M. No significant effect of ranitidine on plasma kinetics of acetaminophen was identified. Frequency of defecation did not differ between groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ranitidine did increase gastric motility in vitro, but no effect on liquid phase gastric emptying was identified in healthy horses by use of the acetaminophen absorption model. Results do not support the use of ranitidine to promote gastric emptying.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To characterize duodenal sigmoid flexure volvulus (DSFV) and determine the prognosis for affected cattle undergoing surgery.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—29 dairy cattle.

Procedures—The medical records were analyzed for history, signalment, clinical signs, medical management, surgical findings, and outcome.

Results—29 cattle were determined to have DSFV between December 2006 and August 2010. Twenty cattle had had an omentopexy or pyloropexy performed 1 day to 2 years before initial evaluation. Cattle were afebrile, tachycardic, and moderately dehydrated, with a small zone of percussion with a ping at the 10th to 12th right intercostal spaces and associated succussion. Biochemical changes were a severe hypokalemic (mean ± SD, 2.9 ± 0.5 mmol/L; median, 3.1 mmol/L; range, 2.08 to 3.92 mmol/L), hypochloremic (mean, 69.7 ± 11.1 mmol/L; median, 71.7 mmol/L; range, 49.1 to 94.1 mmol/L) metabolic alkalosis (mean total CO2, 44.5 ± 7.4 mmol/L; median, 45.3 mmol/L; range, 31.5 to 59.6 mmol/L) and hyperbilirubinemia (mean, 32.4 ± 29.0 μmol/L; median, 20.5 μmol/L; range, 7.8 to 107 μmol/L). Surgical findings for DSFV included an empty descending duodenum adjacent to a dorsally displaced and dilated cranial segment of the duodenum, distended abomasum and gallbladder, and a tight volvulus at the base of the duodenal sigmoid flexure. Manual reduction was considered successful if the descending duodenum filled after cranial duodenal massage. Twenty-two patients were successfully treated; the remaining 7 died or were euthanized within 4 days after surgery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A condition clinically resembling abomasal volvulus but affecting the duodenal sigmoid flexure has been recognized in dairy cattle. When a focal, dorsal right-sided ping and succussion are present combined with severe hypokalemic, hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis and high bilirubin concentration, DSFV should be suspected, especially when there is a history of prior abomasal fixation. After surgical correction, the prognosis is fair to good.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association