Reason for performing study: It is a clinical impression that horses diagnosed with a right dorsal displacement (RDD) of the large colon, are more likely to suffer from recurrent episodes of colic post operatively, compared to other forms of nonstrangulating large colon displacement.
Objectives: To investigate whether the type of nonstrangulating large colon displacement identified at exploratory laparotomy would influence long-term outcome.
Hypothesis: Horses identified with a RDD of the large colon at exploratory laparotomy would be more likely to experience recurrent episodes of post operative colic than other types of displacement.
Materials and methods: Medical records for horses undergoing an exploratory laparotomy, from 2000–2008, for a nonstrangulating large colon displacement were reviewed. Data retrieved included: subject details, previous medical history, details of current episodes of colic, results of preoperative examination, surgical findings and procedures, post operative management and complications. Follow-up information was obtained by reference to computerised clinical records and by telephone questionnaire administered to the horse's owner or carer, and included details of any colic episodes exhibited by the horse after discharge and whether a repeat celiotomy had been required to resolve the colic episodes.
Results: There were 165 surgeries identified, in 154 horses. It was found that those horses with RDD were significantly more likely to experience recurrent episodes of colic requiring veterinary intervention post operatively compared to other types of displacement.
Clinical relevance: Long-term prognosis and likelihood of post operative complications is an important consideration for both owners and veterinarians.