Background:Intestinal neoplasia of horses is inadequately described.
Hypothesis:Intestinal neoplasia of horses has characteristic clinicopathologic features.
Animals:Thirty-four horses with intestinal neoplasia.
Results:Anamnesis, clinical signs, clinicopathologic and pathologic findings in 34 adult horses diagnosed histologically with intestinal neoplasia were reviewed. The horses ranged in age from 2 to 30 years (mean 16.6 years at presentation). The Arabian breed was most represented and there was no sex predisposition. The most common presenting complaints were weight loss, colic, anorexia, and fever. The most consistent clinical signs were poor body condition, tachycardia, tachypnea, fever, and diarrhea. Useful diagnostic tools included rectal examination, routine blood analyses, abdominocentesis, ultrasonographic examination, rectal biopsy, and exploratory laparotomy. Alimentary lymphoma was the most common intestinal neoplasia identified, followed by adenocarcinoma and smooth muscle tumors. The small intestine was the most common segment of intestine affected for all neoplasms. Intestinal neoplasia was diagnosed antemortem in 13 of 34 (38%) horses. The median time from onset of clinical signs to death or euthanasia was 1.9 months. The discharge rate was 15%. Although the longest survival was observed in horses with jejunal adenocarcinoma, all horses were eventually euthanized because of intestinal neoplasia.
Conclusions: Arabian horses were 4.5 times more likely to have intestinal neoplasia diagnosed than were other breeds.