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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • foal;
  • pancreatitis;
  • haemodynamic collapse;
  • amylase;
  • lipase

Summary

Severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) in foals is rare and treatment has not been documented. This paper describes the clinical, haematological and ultrasonographic findings as well as attempted treatment of SAP in two 5-day-old Appaloosa fillies. Clinical signs, including colic, diarrhoea and coma, may be mistaken for sepsis or neonatal encephalopathy. Hyperlipaemic serum and peritoneal fluid, and elevated serum and peritoneal fluid amylase and lipase activities aided the diagnosis. Severe acute pancreatitis should be included as a differential in an acutely ill foal with diarrhoea, colic, cerebral cortical dysfunction and hyperlipaemia.