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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1988 Jul 1;193(1):76-9.

Hemorrhagic necrotizing enterocolitis associated with Clostridium difficile infection in four foals.

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  • 1Diagnostic Laboratories, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523.


Severe hemorrhagic necrotizing enterocolitis was determined to be the cause of death for 4 foals. Toxigenic Clostridium difficile was isolated form the intestine of each foal, and large, gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria lined the surface of necrotic villi. This finding of toxigenic C difficile associated with enteritis in foals adds another possible cause to the list of infectious agents that should be considered when evaluating foals with enteritis. Definitive diagnosis requires a thorough diagnostic evaluation, including procedures that will identify the organism and demonstrate its toxigenicity.

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