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Tijdschr Diergeneeskd. 2002 Nov 15;127(22):682-6.

[Colic surgery in the horse: a retrospective study of 272 patients].

[Article in Dutch]

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Dierenkliniek De Lingehoeve, Veldstraat 3a, 4033 AK, Lienden.


In the period from January 1995 until December 2000, 272 horses underwent a laparotomy for gastrointestinal disorders. The results of these surgeries were evaluated. From these 272 patients 176 (= 65%) were discharged in good health from the hospital. When the patients that were euthanized immediately after the start of the surgery, because of a fatal deterioration, were not taken into account, the short time survival rate was 77%. Strangulated small and large intestinal obstructions (48%) had a lower short time survival rate than non-strangulated obstructions (87%). Fatal postoperative complications occurred in 18% of the patients in which the surgery was completed. Postoperative shock was the most common cause. Non-fatal complications were found in 16% of the patients which survived surgery. The major non-fatal complications were incisional hernia and thrombophlebitis of the jugular vein. From the patients that survived the surgery 81% returned to their former level of performance. Early referral may decrease the percentage of fatal complications and improve the prognoses of surgery.

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