Standing Surgery A Non-Traditional Option For Severe Colic Cases

Colic is a very real concern to horse owners. An overarching term applied to any abdominal pain, over 80 percent of colic cases can be resolved without surgical intervention.

The standard colic surgery needed for horses which do require medical intervention involves putting the horse under general anesthesia, laying him down and opening the horse along his ventral midline. This type of surgery carries additional risk to the horse and adds significantly to the cost of treatment.

A new study has found that a flank incision, made while the horse is standing, may be a good option for specific types of colic. This type of surgery is less risky to the horse and less of a financial strain for the owner.

Dr. Marco Lopes and a study team reviewed records of 26 horses and ponies and one donkey which underwent a standing flank laparotomy between 2003 and 2020. The main reason for the decision to utilize this particular surgery was financial.

Though seven animals were euthanized due to an untreatable condition or a poor chance of survival, 20 of the 30 horses with treatable conditions survived. The surviving horses suffered from small intestine impaction or inflammation, large colon displacement (specifically nephrosplenic ligament entrapment), and sand impaction.

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Small colon impaction has already been found to respond well to the standing-flank incision method of treatment.

Study authors found that there are limitations to the surgery. These include:

  • The horse must remain still during the operation; one in intense pain from severe colic may not be able to have his pain controlled well enough to complete the surgery
  • Peritoneal cavity and abdominal organ access is not as good as with a typical ventral midline incision
  • A second incision on the opposite flank may be necessary

The team concluded that a standing flank laparotomy may be a viable approach for abdominopelvic exploration in horses with colic related to the small intestine, cecum, large colon, and peritoneum.

Read more at Equine Science Update.

The post Standing Surgery A Non-Traditional Option For Severe Colic Cases appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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