Objective—To identify factors associated with development of small colon impaction in horses and with selection of medical versus surgical treatment and to determine the prognosis for affected horses following medical or surgical management.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—44 horses with primary impaction of the small colon.
Procedures—Medical records were reviewed for signalment, history, clinical findings, treatment (medical vs surgical), hospitalization time, and outcome. For comparison purposes, the same information was collected for 83 horses with primary impaction of the large colon.
Results—Diarrhea was the only factor found to be associated with development of small colon impaction. Horses with small colon impaction were 10.8 times as likely to have diarrhea at the time of initial examination as were horses with large colon impaction. Abdominal distension was the only factor associated with use of surgical versus medical treatment. Horses with small colon impaction that were treated surgically were 5.2 times as likely to have had abdominal distension at the time of admission as were horses with small colon impaction that were treated medically. Overall, 21 of 23 (91%) horses treated medically and 20 of 21 (95%) horses treated surgically survived to discharge.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that diarrhea may be a risk factor for development of small colon impaction and that horses with small colon impaction that have abdominal distension at the time of initial examination are more likely to require surgical than medical treatment.
Objective—To determine whether ultrasonography
would be useful in the diagnosis of right dorsal colitis
Animals—5 horses with right dorsal colitis and 15
healthy adult horses.
Procedure—Mural thickness and appearance of the
right dorsal colon were determined from ultrasonographic
images obtained at right intercostal spaces
10, 11, 12, 13, and 14.
Results—The right dorsal colon could be imaged
most consistently at the right 11th, 12th, and 13th
intercostal spaces, below the margin of the lung and
axial to the liver. Mural thickness measured from
ultrasonographic images was significantly greater in
horses with right dorsal colitis than in healthy horses.
The right dorsal colon in affected horses had a prominent
hypoechoic layer associated with submucosal
edema and inflammatory infiltrates. Successful treatment
of 1 horse with right dorsal colitis was associated
with a decrease in mural thickness coincident with
an increase in serum albumin and total protein concentrations
and weight gain. A decrease in mural
thickness was also observed in a second horse treated
for right dorsal colitis that was not associated with
healing of the right dorsal colon or an increase in
serum albumin concentration but rather thinning of a
segment of the right dorsal colon that eventually ruptured.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest
that ultrasonographic measurement of mural
thickness and evaluation of the appearance of the
right dorsal colon may be useful in the diagnosis of
right dorsal colitis in horses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:1248–1251)