EQUUS - - Eq Medicalfro­nt -

The prog­no­sis for horses who have surgery for a spe­cific type of stran­gu­la­tion colic is guarded at best, ac­cord­ing to a new study from Bel­gium.

Re­searchers at Ghent Uni­ver­sity re­viewed the records of 142 horses who un­der­went surgery to cor­rect epi­ploic fora­men en­trap­ment (EFE), a type of colic that oc­curs when a sec­tion of small in­tes­tine be­comes trapped be­tween the liver and the pan­creas.

That data re­vealed that 74 per­cent of the horses sur­vived surgery, and 65 per­cent of those re­cov­ered well enough to be dis­charged. The over­all sur­vival-to-dis­charge rate was 48 per­cent. The me­dian sur­vival time af­ter dis­charge was 3,193 days, a lit­tle longer than eight-and-a half years.

Horses with post­op­er­a­tive re­flux (over­fill­ing of the stom­ach caused by slow gut motil­ity or me­chan­i­cal ob­struc­tion of the small in­tes­tine af­ter small in­testi­nal surgery) were less likely to sur­vive to be dis­charged.

Also, horses who had por­tions of their in­testines re­moved had a shorter life ex­pectancy af­ter dis­charge than did those who did not un­dergo re­sec­tion. Three per­cent of sur­viv­ing horses had a re­cur­rence of the en­trap­ment.

In light of these find­ings, re­searchers con­clude that “own­ers of horses with EFE should be in­formed of the guarded prog­no­sis associated with cur­rent sur­gi­cal treat­ment. Metic­u­lous sur­gi­cal tech­nique to avoid post­op­er­a­tive re­flux de­vel­op­ment com­bined with pre­ven­tive clo­sure of the hole be­tween the liver and the pan­creas, thus avoid­ing re­cur­rence, could pos­si­bly con­trib­ute to bet­ter re­sults in the fu­ture.”

Ref­er­ence: “Sur­gi­cal treat­ment of epi­ploic fora­men en­trap­ment in 142 horses (2008-2016),” Vet­eri­nary Surgery, Jan­uary 2019

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