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Surgical Treatment of Gastric Outflow Obstruction in 40 Foals

Authors

  • STEVEN T. ZEDLER VMD,

    1. Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington, KY, and New Bolton Center University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA.
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  • ROLF M. EMBERTSON DVM, Diplomate ACVS,

    1. Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington, KY, and New Bolton Center University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA.
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  • WILLIAM V. BERNARD DVM, Diplomate ACVIM,

    1. Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington, KY, and New Bolton Center University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA.
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  • BONNIE S. BARR VMD, Diplomate ACVIM,

    1. Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington, KY, and New Bolton Center University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA.
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  • RAYMOND C. BOSTON PhD

    1. Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington, KY, and New Bolton Center University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA.
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Address reprint requests to Steven T. Zedler, VMD, Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 382 West Street Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348. E-mail: zedler@vet.upenn.edu.

Abstract

Objective— To report short- and long-term survival and factors affecting outcome of foals after surgical correction of gastric outflow obstruction.

Study Design— Case series.

Animals— Foals (n=40) aged 5–180 days.

Methods— Clinical signs, laboratory data, diagnostic imaging, surgical findings, surgical procedures, medical treatment, and necropsy findings were retrieved from medical records. Outcome was obtained by reviewing performance, sales, and produce records or by telephone conversations with the owners.

Results— Gastric outflow obstruction was treated by gastroduodenostomy or by gastrojejunostomy with or without jejunojejunostomy. Long-term follow-up was available for 36 of 39 foals that survived to hospital discharge; 25 (69%) survived >2 years. All 8 foals with pyloric obstruction survived >2 years, whereas only 11 of 21 (52%) foals with duodenal obstruction survived >2 years. Six of 8 foals with obstruction of the duodenum and pylorus survived >2 years. Obstruction of the duodenum, adhesions to the duodenum, and postoperative ileus were significantly associated with decreased long-term survival.

Conclusions— Long-term outcome after gastric bypass procedures was substantially improved compared with previous reports. Factors that may have contributed to improved survival include better case selection and performing the gastrojejunostomy with the jejunum aligned from left to right.

Clinical Relevance— The prognosis for long-term survival after surgical bypass of pyloric obstruction is excellent. The overall prognosis for long-term survival after surgical bypass of duodenal obstruction is fair but should be considered guarded in those with pre-existing duodenal adhesions.

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