Analysis of therapeutic results and complications after colic surgery in 434 horses

https://doi.org/10.17221/1934-VETMEDCitation:Mezerova J., Zert Z., Kabes R., Ottova L. (2008): Analysis of therapeutic results and complications after colic surgery in 434 horses. Veterinarni Medicina, 53: 12-28.
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Out of the total number of 434 horses that underwent colic surgery, small intestine was operated in 195 (44.9%) patients, caecum in 10 (2.3%) horses, large colon surgery was performed in 196 (45.2%) cases and small colon surgery in 14 (3.2%) horses. In 12 patients (2.8%) two different parts of the gastrointestinal tract were affected simultaneously, one horse suffered from peritonitis, torsion of the uterus developed in two mares and three animals had negative surgical findings. Of 434 horses, 371 (85.5%) survived. After small intestinal surgery, 159 patients (81.5%) recovered from anaesthesia and were discharged home as well as seven horses (70%) after caecal surgery, 175 horses (89.3%) after large colon surgery and 14 horses (100%) following small colon surgery. 75 out of 103 horses (72.8%) were discharged home after the small intestinal resection and 89 of 98 horses (90.8%) with small intestinal problems where no resection was needed. In total, 43 of the patients that underwent one surgery did not survive the immediate postoperative period. The most frequent lethal complications in horses following the small intestinal surgery included peritonitis (five horses) and paralytic ileus (four horses) and in horses with large colon problems it was typhlocolitis (six cases). Relaparotomy was indicated in 41 of 434 horses (9.4%) that recovered from colic surgery. 21 out of the 41 (51.2%) relaparotomised colic patients were released from the clinic. All successfully repeated surgeries were carried out to overcome primary small intestine ileus problems, and in 14 of these cases (66.7%) resection and anastomosis were performed. The most common finding, diagnosed in 9 of 21 reoperated horses, was paralytic ileus. Of 20 relaparotomised horses that did not survive, three animals were lost after the introduction of anaesthesia, nine horses were euthanised after the abdominal cavity revision, one horse did not recover after the surgical procedure and seven horses did not survive the postoperative period. In 15 of 20 dead horses, the cause of the first surgical intervention was small intestinal ileus, in other four horses there was a large colon problem and in the last patient, it was a stomach disease. In 13 of 15 (86.7%) horses with small intestinal problems and in three of four (75%) patients with large colon disease, either resection or bypass was performed. In the remaining four non-surviving horses of 20 relaparotomised ones, peritonitis and/or adhesion formation was diagnosed at the second surgery, in three horses anastomosis complications were the main problem. Peritonitis or paralytic ileus led to death or euthanasia in four of seven horses that recovered after relaparotomy.
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