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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • abdomen;
  • recurrent colic;
  • spasmodic colic;
  • lymphosarcoma

Summary

The clinical features of 58 horses presenting with recurrent colic examined over a 5 year period were reviewed. The horses were categorised into 3 groups on the basis of the history of colic episodes. Recurrent transient colic Group 1 was characterised by 3 or more episodes of transient colic (of apparently similar type) occurring within one month. Recurrent transient colic Group 2 was characterised by 3 or more episodes of transient colic occurring within one year. Recurrent prolonged colic was characterised by 3 or more episodes of prolonged colic occurring within one year.

Fifteen horses were classified as recurrent transient colic Group 1. This group had the highest mortality rate 53%. They included 3 horses with lymphosarcoma, 2 with intussusceptions, 2 with thromboembolic disease/verminous arteritis and 2 with partial ileal obstructions. The recurrent transient colic Group 2 comprised 27 cases with a mortality rate of 4%. Nine of these horses were affected by spasmodic colic. The recurrent prolonged group involved 16 horses with a mortality rate of 31%. These included 3 cases of recurrent colonic impaction and 2 cases each of lymphosarcoma, 2 thromboembolic disease, 2 partial ileal obstructions and 2 intestinal adhesions.