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Vet Surg. 1998 Mar-Apr;27(2):112-21.

Acute gastrointestinal disease in 27 New World camelids: clinical and surgical findings.

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1
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe clinical and surgical findings from New World camelids with acute gastrointestinal disease.

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective study.

ANIMAL POPULATION:

20 llamas and 7 alpacas.

METHODS:

Camelids were grouped based on surgical lesions. Clinical and surgical findings were compared between groups and between surviving and nonsurviving camelids.

RESULTS:

Twelve of 27 initial celiotomies and 3 of 4 repeat celiotomies were successful. Death occurred from euthanasia during surgery (nine camelids), peritonitis or sepsis (five), aspiration pneumonia (one), and respiratory distress (one). Survival was lowest after celiotomy for proximal obstruction (3 of 10 camelids), ruptured viscus (0 of 4), and necrotizing enteritis (0 of 2) and highest after celiotomy for distal obstruction (10 of 13) and septic peritonitis without ruptured viscus (2 of 2). Before surgery, camelids with proximal obstruction had significantly lower (P < .05) serum chloride concentrations (median, 97 mEq/L) than those with distal obstruction (median, 109 mEq/L) or ruptured viscus (median, 117 mEq/L). Serum bicarbonate concentration also was highest (median, 34.6 mEq/L) and often greater than 28 mEq/L in camelids with proximal obstruction. Camelids with distal obstruction had significantly lower (P < .05) nucleated cell counts in peritoneal fluid (median, 700 cells/microL) than those with ruptured viscus (median, 20,600 cells/microL) or septic peritonitis (median, 88,300 cells/microL).

CONCLUSIONS:

Camelids with proximal obstruction often had hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis. Camelids with distal obstruction had less metabolic derangement and tissue compromise and a higher survival rate.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Awareness of the characteristics of the various types of acute gastrointestinal disease in camelids will augment veterinarians' ability to diagnose and treat these disorders.

PMID:
9525025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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