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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1988 Dec 15;193(12):1560-4.

Surgical treatment of sand colic in equids: 48 cases (1978-1985).

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Department of Surgical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610-0116.


Medical records of 48 equids (47 horses, 1 pony) with surgical sand colic were reviewed. The diagnosis of sand colic was made if a sand impaction(s) was palpated during exploratory abdominal surgery or if a large quantity of sand was found during colotomy. Most equids did not experience a previous episode of sand diarrhea or sand colic. Clinical findings and results of clinicopathologic determinations were not diagnostic. Rectal palpation findings in 40 of 46 horses were compatible with large-colon and/or cecal distention. Impactions were palpable per rectum in only 7 horses, but emergency abdominal surgery revealed one or more impactions in 46 of 48 equids. Single impaction most commonly was observed at the pelvic flexure. Twenty-six horses had concurrent large-colon torsion or displacement. Pelvic flexure colotomy was performed in 44 horses. Of 48 equids, 44 survived and were discharged.

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