Pathological evidence of pancreatitis in 43 horses (1986–2011)
Article first published online: 27 NOV 2012
© 2012 EVJ Ltd
Equine Veterinary Journal
Special Issue: 58th Annual Convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Guest Editors: N. White, D. Sellon and B. Ball. Publication of this supplement was supported by the American Association of Equine Practitioners
Volume 44, Issue Supplement S43, pages 45–50, December 2012
How to Cite
Yamout, S. Z., Nieto, J. E., Anderson, J., de Cock, H. E. V., Vapniarsky, N. and Aleman, M. (2012), Pathological evidence of pancreatitis in 43 horses (1986–2011). Equine Veterinary Journal, 44: 45–50. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2012.00636.x
- Issue published online: 27 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 27 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Received: 20 JAN 2012
Reasons for performing study
Definitive ante mortem diagnosis of pancreatitis in horses is difficult. Reports summarising the most common clinical signs, clinicopathological features and concurrent disorders in horses with a definitive diagnosis of pancreatitis that may aid in the recognition of disease are lacking.
To describe case details, clinical signs, clinicopathological data and necropsy findings in horses with a definitive diagnosis of pancreatitis.
This was a retrospective study (1986–2011) and inclusion criteria consisted of horses with a definitive diagnosis of pancreatitis. A medical records database search was performed and data extracted included case details, clinical signs, clinical laboratory data and post mortem findings. Pancreatitis was defined as acute, active chronic or chronic and presumed primary or secondary, based on post mortem findings.
Pancreatitis was diagnosed in 43 horses (acute pancreatitis in 34, active chronic in 4 and chronic in 5). A presumed diagnosis of primary pancreatitis was made in 6 horses. Pancreatitis was associated with gastrointestinal disorders in 28 horses (14 large colon, 10 small intestine and 4 gastric ruptures) and primary hepatic disease in 3 horses. Six horses had pancreatitis associated with other disorders: multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome (one horse), strychnine toxicosis (one horse) and compromised immune system (4 horses).
Pancreatitis is an uncommon disorder that can occur as a primary problem or secondary to gastrointestinal, hepatic or immunocompromising disorders, and when it occurs it affects adult horses more commonly.
Unexplained abdominal pain, gastric dilation or rupture, peritonitis and/or the presence of white fibrinous plaques and fat necrosis in the peritoneum and mesentery or mass-like structures in the root of the mesentery during an exploratory celiotomy should raise a suspicious of pancreatitis.