Gastric and small intestinal ileus as a cause of acute colic in the post parturient mare

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Abstract

Summary

Reasons for performing study:Ileus (functional obstruction of aboral gastrointestinal transit) is an uncommon cause of gastrointestinal dysfunction and colic in the horse. Anumber of specific conditions have been previously reported in association with ileus. This report describes the recognition of primary gastric and small intestinal ileus of undetermined cause in a series of post parturient mares.

Summary

Objectives:To describe the clinical features, treatment and outcome of a series of episodes of primary gastric and small intestinal ileus.

Summary

Methods:A retrospective study was performed of colic episodes seen in an equine practice in Newmarket, UK over a 6 year period (2002-2007).

Summary

Results:Seventeen episodes of gastric and small intestinal ileus were identified, which occurred in 15 horses. All episodes occurred in post parturient mares. No previously reported cause of ileus was identified in any of the episodes. Fifteen of the 17 episodes received medical treatment (medical support and nasogastric decompression) and, in addition, surgical decompression was performed in 9 episodes. Two mares were subjected to euthanasia before treatment due to the presence of gastric rupture and the remaining 13 mares survived with a follow-up period of at least 10 months. Two mares suffered a further episode of gastric and small intestinal ileus, one 4 days and the other 2 years after the initial episode.

Summary

Conclusions:Gastric and small intestinal ileus of, as yet, unknown aetiology appears to be a potential cause of acute colic in the post parturient mare. The outcome following treatment by decompression is good.

Summary

Potential relevance:Knowledge of this condition should allow early recognition and successful treatment of future episodes. Further epidemiological studies are needed to allow the aetiology of the condition to be determined.

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