Large Intestine Impactions Easier To Resolve, Yet Harder To Diagnose - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Large Intestine Impactions Easier To Resolve, Yet Harder To Diagnose

A study spearheaded by Dr. Sarah Freeman, of the University of Nottingham, found that large intestinal impactions, those of the cecum or large or small colon, are easier to resolve than blockages of the small intestine, though they can be difficult to diagnose, reports EQUUS magazine.

Large intestine impactions are often less painful and not as complex as small-intestine impactions, as there is more room for intestine distention. The mild, subtle pain a horse experiences can be difficult to discern, however, and might delay the procurance of a veterinarian.

Freeman and graduate student Kyra Jennings reviewed the records of 120 horses with large intestine impactions seen by vets in the field. They found that most cases (42.1 percent) occurred in the winter or after a management change (59 percent). 

Though these figures were not especially surprising, one statistic was: 43 percent of the horses were not being ridden regularly at the time they colicked, either from an acute injury or because they had retired from work. 

The tests performed most often to diagnose large-intestine impaction were nasogastric intubation and rectal exams. Treatment of the colicking horses varied, but most vets utilized an NSAID and oral fluids. Many vets also gave the horse a sedative and/or gut relaxer when rectally examining the horse. 

The impactions resolved in 53 percent of the horses after the initial treatment, indicating that if large-intestine impactions can be caught early, they can be treated easily on the farm. 

Read more at EQUUS magazine

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