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Am J Vet Res. 2009 Feb;70(2):236-46. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.70.2.236.

Effects of flunixin meglumine on recovery of colonic mucosa from ischemia in horses.

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  • 1Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-0136, USA.



To examine the effects of flunixin meglumine (FM) on recovery of colonic mucosa from experimentally induced ischemia in horses.


14 research horses.


Ischemia was induced in the colons of anesthetized horses for 2 hours. Afterward, horses received saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (12 mL, IV, q 12 h; n = 7) or FM (1.1 mg/kg, IV, q 12 h; 7) and were allowed to recover for 18 hours after termination of the ischemic event. Postoperative pain scores were recorded every 4 hours throughout the recovery period. At the end of the recovery period, horses were anesthetized, and ischemic and nonischemic segments of colonic mucosa were harvested for histologic evaluation, western blot analysis, and in vitro assessment of transepithelial electric resistance (TER) and transmucosal flux of tritium-labeled (3H-) mannitol. Horses were then euthanatized.


Flunixin meglumine significantly lowered pain scores at the first postoperative recording. There were no significant differences between treatment with saline solution and FM in any of the measurements for TER, 3H-mannitol flux, histomorphometric variables, neutrophil infiltration (detected via calprotectin immunostaining), and expressions of cyclooxygenase-1 and -2. After both treatments, TER declined significantly in nonischemic tissues in vitro, whereas it increased significantly in ischemic-injured tissues.


Flunixin meglumine did not affect recovery of equine colonic mucosa from ischemic injury, and continued use in horses with colonic ischemia is therefore justified.

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