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Keywords:

  • Bile duct;
  • Bilirubin;
  • Colic;
  • Hepatic;
  • Obstruction

The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that horses with right dorsal displacement of the large colon (RDDLC) have elevations in serum gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) activity when compared with horses with left dorsal displacement of the large colon (LDDLC). Medical records from 37 horses with RDDLC and 48 horses with LDDLC were reviewed. Horses were included for study if the RDDLC or LDDLC was confirmed by exploratory laparotomy or postmortem examination and if a serum GGT measurement was obtained within 24 hours before surgery. The proportion of horses with GGT activity within or above the reference range was determined. Of 37 horses, 18 (49%; exact binomial 95% confidence interval, 32–66%) with RDDLC and, of 48 horses, 1 (2%; 95% CI, 0–11%) with LDDLC had GGT above the reference range. Horses with RDDLC had higher serum GGT than did horses with LDDLC. Of 37 horses, 36 (97%) with RDDLC were discharged with a good prognosis and none returned as a result of hepatic disease. Evaluation of surgical and postmortem examinations revealed that positioning of the colon in horses with RDDLC results in compression of the bile duct, which can cause extrahepatic bile duct obstruction and a subsequent elevation in serum GGT activity.