Evaluation of exploratory laparotomy in young horses: 102 cases (1987-1992)

Ellen R. Singer From the Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont, Canada N1G 2W1.

Search for other papers by Ellen R. Singer in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, DVSc
and
Michael A. Livesey From the Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont, Canada N1G 2W1.

Search for other papers by Michael A. Livesey in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 BVMS, MS

Click on author name to view affiliation information

Objective

To determine, in a population of young horses, whether a variation exists among neonates, sucklings, weanlings, and yearlings regarding recovery from anesthesia, short- and long-term survival rates, and postoperative adhesion formation following exploratory laparotomy.

Design

Retrospective study.

Animals

102 horses < 25 months old that underwent exploratory laparotomy.

Procedure

Pre-, intra-, and postoperative information was retrieved from medical records, conversations with referring veterinarians, owners, or trainers, and race records. Survival rates (recovery from anesthesia and short- and long-term survival) were compared with age, lesion type, lesion location, surgical procedure, and development of clinically important postoperative intestinal adhesions.

Results

Of the 73 horses that recovered from anesthesia, 69 were available for follow-up. Of the 69 horses, 7 (10%) died of complications associated with formation of intestinal adhesions. Age did not affect incidence of adhesion formation, lesion type, lesion location, or surgical procedure performed. Long-term survival rate after surgery for correction of a small-intestinal lesion was 34%, whereas that after surgery for correction of a large-intestinal lesion was 65%.

Clinical Implications

Surgical treatment of colic in young horses resulted in survival rates that are similar to those reported for mature horses. The incidence of clinically important postoperative adhesions was greater than that found for young horses in earlier studies. This may be the result of the younger age of our study population. Alternatively, improvements in operative techniques and postoperative management may allow a larger percentage of horses to survive long term and develop complications such as adhesion formation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:1158–1162)

Objective

To determine, in a population of young horses, whether a variation exists among neonates, sucklings, weanlings, and yearlings regarding recovery from anesthesia, short- and long-term survival rates, and postoperative adhesion formation following exploratory laparotomy.

Design

Retrospective study.

Animals

102 horses < 25 months old that underwent exploratory laparotomy.

Procedure

Pre-, intra-, and postoperative information was retrieved from medical records, conversations with referring veterinarians, owners, or trainers, and race records. Survival rates (recovery from anesthesia and short- and long-term survival) were compared with age, lesion type, lesion location, surgical procedure, and development of clinically important postoperative intestinal adhesions.

Results

Of the 73 horses that recovered from anesthesia, 69 were available for follow-up. Of the 69 horses, 7 (10%) died of complications associated with formation of intestinal adhesions. Age did not affect incidence of adhesion formation, lesion type, lesion location, or surgical procedure performed. Long-term survival rate after surgery for correction of a small-intestinal lesion was 34%, whereas that after surgery for correction of a large-intestinal lesion was 65%.

Clinical Implications

Surgical treatment of colic in young horses resulted in survival rates that are similar to those reported for mature horses. The incidence of clinically important postoperative adhesions was greater than that found for young horses in earlier studies. This may be the result of the younger age of our study population. Alternatively, improvements in operative techniques and postoperative management may allow a larger percentage of horses to survive long term and develop complications such as adhesion formation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:1158–1162)

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 271 271 82
PDF Downloads 37 37 5
Advertisement