Objective— To analyze the effect of the intraoperative use of sodium carboxymethylcellulose (CBMC) and related perioperative factors on postoperative colic and survival in horses that had abdominal surgery for colic.
Study Design— Retrospective study.
Animals— Horses (n=203) that had surgery for small intestinal disease; 33 horses had intraoperative administration of CBMC.
Methods— Information was obtained from medical records for 170 horses that had surgery for colic before use of CBMC and 33 horses that had intraoperative CBMC. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were used to estimate median survival time and a Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the hazard ratio for the effect of CBMC and other perioperative variables on survival.
Results— Seventy-five percent of horses administered CBMC survived to 180 days, whereas 75% of untreated horses survived 8 days (median survival time=18 days). Horses not administered CBMC were twice as likely to die compared with horses administered CBMC. Horses that had postoperative ileus (POI) were 1.4 times more likely to die than horses without ileus. Similarly, horses with signs of colic after surgery were 1.3 times more likely to die than horses without postoperative signs of colic.
Conclusions— CBMC administration is seemingly protective against death and prolongs survival when used intraoperatively in horses with small intestine disease, particularly horses with postoperative colic or POI. Both POI and colic increased risk of death after surgery.
Clinical Relevance— Intraoperative administration of CBMC in horses that have surgery for small intestinal disease may improve survival, possibly by reducing early adhesion formation.