Treatment of cervical oesophageal rupture in horses

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Abstract

Oesophageal rupture in horses has only been previously described in detail in isolated case reports. The objectives of this study were to describe the clinical findings, specific treatment and outcome of oesophageal rupture in horses. Medical records of horses diagnosed with oesophageal rupture between 1994–2008 were reviewed. Clinical findings, treatment and outcome were recorded. Seven horses with cervical oesophageal perforations were included in the study. Two horses were subjected to euthanasia without treatment and 5 were treated surgically. Treatment involved a fasciotomy of the cervical musculature and oesophageal tube placement. Three of 5 horses survived long-term (>one year). Our study showed that surgical treatment of cervical oesophageal rupture involving fasciotomy and oesophagostomy tube placement can be successful with 3/5 of treated horses surviving more than one year.

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