Equine Colic Types

Cecal lesions

Predispositions to disease

The cecum is a blind ended sack with a single entry and exit portal. As it is a branch off of the rest of the intestines, motility disorders can lead to impactions.

Tapeworms live at the ileocecal junction and can cause motility issues and intussusceptions.



Clinical signs

1. Low grade pain

Distension can take awhile

2. Difficult diagnoses

Gas distension is palpable rectally with tight vertical bands but may resemble other forms of gas colic. It will usually respond well to pain relief, antispasmodic agents, mineral oil and exercise.

Impactions will cause the cecum to sink and to be less palpable. Impactions are generally not identifiable until advanced.

Cecal impactions develop most commonly in horses that are hospitalized and on NSAID therapy. Due to chronic pain, horses with orthopedic issues or eye lesions are predisposed. The presence of NSAIDs means early signs of colic may be missed.

Due to the increased risk of rupture with cecal impactions, these horses should be referred.

3. Minimal response to laxatives

Most substances bypass the cecal contents and move from the ileum, straight thru the cecum into the colon. Surgery is often necessary to empty the cecum.

Cecal tympany is difficult to differentiate from large colon tympany (check for a ping on the right) but should also respond to the same therapy.



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Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes Copyright © by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.