Objective—To determine factors associated with development of postoperative ileus (POI) in horses undergoing surgery for colic.
Design—Prospective case-control study.
Animals—251 horses undergoing colic surgery, of which 47 developed POI.
Procedure—Signalment, history, clinicopathologic data, pre- and postoperative treatments, lesions, complications, costs, and outcome were recorded for all horses during hospitalization.
Results—Variables associated with increased odds of POI included small intestinal lesion, high PCV, and increased duration of anesthesia. There was modest evidence that pelvic flexure enterotomy and intraoperative administration of lidocaine may have reduced the odds of developing POI.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings during the preoperative and intraoperative periods can be used to identify horses at increased risk of POI. Reducing surgical and anesthetic duration should decrease the incidence of POI. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225: 1070–1078)