Strangulating Lipoma: Surgery The Only Option

Strangulating lipomas are a common cause of colic in horses older than 10. These fatty tumors take years to develop; they eventually wrap around the small intestine or small colon and block ingested feed and hay from moving. If left long enough, they will eventually cut off blood flow to the tissues as well.

Why these tumors occur isn’t known, but they don’t only occur in overweight equines. Colic from a strangulating lypoma cannot be managed with on-farm treatments like hand walking or medicating—surgical removal is the only remedy for this type of colic.

A horse with a strangulating lipoma may have only mild abdominal pain as the tumor grows. His pain will escalate as the tumor increases in weight, which causes the loop to tighten and block more ingested material. Eventually the blood supply to the tissue may be cut off, causing it to die.

The horse may initially appear restless, he may roll, paw or bite at his sides. Stretching out to ease the pull and sweating is not uncommon, nor is an elevated heart rate and depression. A horse with a strangulating lipoma most likely will not eat or pass manure. This form of colic may cause the horse to have a distended abdomen from the buildup of fluids.

This type of colic is diagnosed through observation of behavior, as well as through palpation of the small intestine, presence of abdominal distention and an increase in proteins and white blood cells in the peritoneal fluid.

The only treatment for a horse with a diagnosed strangulating lipoma is surgery, which will remove the tumor as well as any damaged intestine.

Read more at EQUUS magazine.

The post Strangulating Lipoma: Surgery The Only Option appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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