• horse;
  • colic;
  • large colon;
  • displacement;
  • nephrosplenic


The clinical findings and outcome of 161 horses diagnosed with 174 episodes of nephrosplenic entrapment (NSE) were reviewed retrospectively. The median age at presentation was 5 years (9 months to 24 years), and duration of colic was 2–92 h. Nasogastric reflux was present in 49 of 113 horses (43.4%) and was significant (≥ 21) in 32 (28.3%) horses. The recurrence rate was 13/161 (8.1%). Thirteen horses (13/174, 7.5%) had other lesions including small intestinal obstruction (4), 360° large colon torsion (5), gastric rupture (2), thromboembolic colic (1) and small colon infarction (1). Of 115 cases, in 107 horses treated by surgery alone, 2 horses required a large colon resection, and 8 (8/107, 7.5%) horses died or were subjected to euthanasia. Twenty-six of 35 horses (74%) were successfully corrected by rolling under general anesthesia and, of the 9 horses taken to surgery after rolling, 4 had other lesions and 2 were corrected at surgery. Phenylephrine was used in 20 of 35 horses that were rolled and 2 horses required surgery after rolling with phenylephrine. Five horses were jogged after phenylephrine administration and all were successfully corrected. Eleven horses presented with the left colon located between the spleen and the body wall were treated successfully by fasting and/or i.v. fluids. One horse had a gastric rupture after rolling. The overall success rate was 92.5%. In conclusion, NSE is a condition associated with a good prognosis for medical or surgical correction. A small number of horses may have additional gastrointestinal lesions, which may affect outcome.