Intestinal Entrapment and Strangulation Caused by Rupture of the Duodenocolic Ligament in Four Dogs



Objective— The purpose of this study was to describe four dogs with intestinal entrapment and strangulation caused by a rupture of the duodenocolic ligament.

Study Design— This case series documents historical findings, physical examination findings, diagnostic workup, surgical intervention, and outcome of four dogs confirmed at surgery with duodenocolic ligament rupture.

Results— Three of four dogs were German shepherds, and two of three German shepherds were intact males. The history, clinical signs, and physical examination findings were not specific for intestinal entrapment. The clinical signs in three of four dogs included chronic vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, and lethargy. In the remaining dog, the clinical signs were vomiting and peracute collapse. This dog rapidly deteriorated over a few hours because of strangulation of the entrapped intestines. In two of four dogs, abdominal radiographs showed a distended colon displaced to the right side of the abdominal cavity. Surgery involved transection of the remaining ventral remnant of the duodenocolic ligament and replacing the colon into its normal anatomic position. The three dogs with chronic clinical signs were either still alive, or were euthanatized for unrelated problems. The dog with strangulation of the entrapped intestines was euthanatized at the time of surgery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance— Duodenocolic ligament rupture with secondary bowel entrapment can occur in dogs. The prognosis for these animals is favorable provided there is no vascular compromise of the entrapped bowel segments. The peracute history, progression of the disease process, and outcome of the fourth dog in this study indicate that surgery should be performed as an emergency procedure.