Objective— To describe clinical findings, surgical treatment, and outcome associated with trichophytobezoar duodenal obstruction in New World camelids.
Study Design— Retrospective study
Animals— Alpacas (7) and 1 llama.
Methods— Historical and clinical data were obtained from the medical records of New World camelids with a diagnosis of trichophytobezoar duodenal obstruction confirmed by surgical exploration or necropsy.
Results— Seven camelids were <1 year old. Abnormal clinical findings included anorexia, reduced fecal output, recumbency, colic, abdominal distension, regurgitation, decreased serum chloride concentration, increased serum bicarbonate concentration, and/or elevated first gastric compartment chloride concentration. Survey abdominal radiographs obtained (4 animals) revealed gastric distension (4) and/or visualization of the obstruction (2). Diagnosis was confirmed at necropsy (1) or surgery (7). Right paracostal celiotomy was performed on all animals and duodenotomy (3) or retropulsion of the trichophytobezoar combined with third compartment gastrotomy (4) was used to remove the obstruction. Six animals survived to discharge and 5 were healthy at follow-up, 8–20 months later. The remaining discharged alpaca was healthy at 12 months but subsequently died of unrelated causes.
Conclusions— Diagnosis of trichophytobezoar duodenal obstruction should be considered in juvenile New World camelids with abdominal distension and hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis. Right paracostal celiotomy can be used for access to the descending duodenum and third gastric compartment for surgical relief of obstruction.
Clinical Relevance— Duodenal obstruction from bezoars should be considered in New World camelids <1year of age with abdominal distension and hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis. Surgical relief of the obstruction by right paracostal celiotomy has a good prognosis.