Diagnosis and treatment of chronic recurrent caecal impaction



Ninety-six horses with chronic recurrent caecal impaction associated with hypertrophy of muscle layers in the caecal base or in the whole caecum were examined from 1990 to 1996. Enlargement of the caecocolic orifice was completed surgically in 58 horses. Of those horses having surgery, 50 were discharged from the hospital while 8 were subjected to euthanasia at the hospital due to complications. Twenty-seven of the 50 horses discharged were normal at follow-up while 23 died or were subjected to euthanasia due to acute or recurrent colic, recurrent impaction in the ascending or descending colon, complete caecal muscle layer hypertrophy, stomach rupture or lymphosarcoma. Approximately 50% of the cases were successfully treated by surgical enlargement of the caecocolic orifice. The results suggest, on the other hand, that enlargement of the caecocolic orifice was not successful in treating horses with hypertrophy of the caecal muscle layer in the whole caecum.