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  • Author or Editor: Mitja Miklavcic x
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To determine breed, age, and sex predispositions for fecalith obstruction and to evaluate short-term survival and prognostic factors following surgical treatment of fecalith intestinal obstruction in equids.


151 equids.


Medical records of equids undergoing surgery for fecalith obstruction from 2000 to 2020 were reviewed. Signalment, history, presenting clinicopathological data, surgical findings, complications, and short-term survival were recorded and compared between survivors and nonsurvivors. Signalment of the fecalith population was compared to a contemporaneous colic population. Clinical factors were assessed for association with outcome.


64 females, 53 castrated males, and 31 intact males were included. Three equids presented twice. Miniature horses, ponies, and miniature donkeys/mules represented 48% (71/148) of fecalith population and full-sized breeds represented 52% (77/148). Miniature horses and ponies were overrepresented and equids ≤ 1 year of age were overrepresented in the fecalith population compared to the colic population. One hundred thirty-nine equids (92%) survived to discharge, 6% (9/148) were euthanized intraoperatively, and 2% (3/148) were euthanized during hospitalization. Nonsurvivors showed more severe colic signs on admission, tachycardia on admission, and hyperlipemia. Equids with postoperative colic (P = .01) and complications (P = .002) were less likely to survive.


Miniature horses and ponies were overrepresented compared to the colic population; however, full-sized breeds were also affected. Surgical treatment had an excellent short-term prognosis. Severe colic signs, tachycardia, hyperlipemia, postoperative colic, and surgical complications negatively affected short-term survival.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association