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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1993 Sep 1;203(5):685-93.

Analysis of hemostasis in horses with colic.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens 30602.


Eight tests of hemostasis were measured in 233 horses with colic. Blood samples were obtained at admission and for 4 consecutive days of hospitalization. Data were analyzed retrospectively by outcome, by broad-category diagnosis group, by small intestinal disorder, and by smaller categories for comparing specific diseases. Nonsurviving horses and horses with the most severe forms of intestinal ischemia had changes interpreted as hypercoagulative, the intensity of which was increased on the first and second mornings (sample times 2 and 3) after admission, when most significant differences for results of specific tests were detected. Nonsurvivors had decreased antithrombin III activity and prolonged prothrombin and activated partial thromboplastin times; those with strangulating obstructions also had decreased protein C and plasminogen activities. During hospitalization and with survival, these changes tended to reverse. In most horses, regardless of diagnosis or outcome, concentration of fibrin degradation products and fibrinogen, and alpha 2-antiplasmin activity increased over time. Whether these changes reflected specific effects of colic or of the acute-phase response was not determined. In comparisons of small intestinal disorders (proximal enteritis, strangulations, and impactions), diagnostically distinguishing features were not found. Likewise, in comparisons of specific diseases (small vs large intestinal impaction, proximal enteritis vs colitis, small vs large intestinal obstruction), diagnostically distinguishing features were not found.

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