Surgical treatment of colic in American miniature horses: 15 cases (1980-1987)

Claude A. Ragle From the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Ragle, Honnas), and the Department of Surgery (Snyder, Meagher), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8745.

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Jack R. Snyder From the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Ragle, Honnas), and the Department of Surgery (Snyder, Meagher), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8745.

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Dennis M. Meagher From the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Ragle, Honnas), and the Department of Surgery (Snyder, Meagher), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8745.

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Clifford M. Honnas From the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Ragle, Honnas), and the Department of Surgery (Snyder, Meagher), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8745.

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Summary

A study of 15 American miniature horses (amh) that underwent surgical treatment for colic was performed. Information obtained from the medical records included signalment, clinical signs, type and location of gastrointestinal lesion, and postoperative complications. All 15 amh had intraluminal obstructions, attributable to feed impactions (11 horses), enteroliths (2), and sand (2). The most common location of obstruction was the small colon, which was involved in 9 of the 15 cases. All 15 amh survived and were discharged from the hospital. Six of the 15 amh underwent subsequent surgical treatment for abdominal disorders. Elapsed time between the first and second operations ranged from 1 month to 5 years. Intestinal adhesions were observed in all amh that were surgically treated twice. Thus, despite the fact that most of the amh had a simple intraluminal obstruction, 40% (n = 6) developed adhesions that required or complicated a second surgery. Of the 15 amh, 87% (n = 13) survived at least 12 months after the initial exploratory celiotomy. These findings suggest that most surgical abdominal conditions in amh can be corrected; however, precautions should be taken to avoid or minimize adhesion formation.

Summary

A study of 15 American miniature horses (amh) that underwent surgical treatment for colic was performed. Information obtained from the medical records included signalment, clinical signs, type and location of gastrointestinal lesion, and postoperative complications. All 15 amh had intraluminal obstructions, attributable to feed impactions (11 horses), enteroliths (2), and sand (2). The most common location of obstruction was the small colon, which was involved in 9 of the 15 cases. All 15 amh survived and were discharged from the hospital. Six of the 15 amh underwent subsequent surgical treatment for abdominal disorders. Elapsed time between the first and second operations ranged from 1 month to 5 years. Intestinal adhesions were observed in all amh that were surgically treated twice. Thus, despite the fact that most of the amh had a simple intraluminal obstruction, 40% (n = 6) developed adhesions that required or complicated a second surgery. Of the 15 amh, 87% (n = 13) survived at least 12 months after the initial exploratory celiotomy. These findings suggest that most surgical abdominal conditions in amh can be corrected; however, precautions should be taken to avoid or minimize adhesion formation.

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