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Res Vet Sci. 2008 Apr;84(2):305-10. Epub 2007 Jun 13.

Evaluation of equine cecal motility by ausculation, ultrasonography and electrointestinography after jejunocecostomy.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Science, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada, Obihiro, Hokkaido, Japan.



Horses often suffer reduced intestinal motility after jejunocecostomy. Therefore, accurate evaluation of intestinal motility is important for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this condition. The purpose of this study was to evaluate intestinal motility in horses after jejunocecostomy using three different methods, i.e. auscultation, ultrasonography and electrointestinography.


Six healthy thoroughbreds were used in this study. They were subjected to jejunocecostomy.


Bowel sounds in the right paralumbar fossa were assigned a score of 0-3 for intestinal motility evaluation by auscultation, and the number of cecal contractions during a 3-min period were counted by ultrasonography. Electrointestinography (EIG) was used to measure percutaneous potential of the cecum.


We identified three specific postoperative periods: the period of reduced intestinal motility (postoperative day 1 to day 2), in which intestinal motility declined, the unstable period (day 3 to day 7), in which intestinal motility partially recovered, and the full recovery period (day 8 to day 31), in which intestinal motility returned to preoperative state. Careful management was found to be especially important during the period of reduced intestinal motility and the unstable period. We found that, in healthy horses that underwent jejunocecostomy, it takes approximately one month for the cecum to return to normal motility patterns observed before surgery.


We have shown in this study that evaluation of intestinal motility after jejunocecostomy in horses by EIG is more objective and provides more details than evaluation by auscultation or ultrasonography.

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