Equine Colic

Indications for surgery

The decision for surgery can be challenging. It often involves multiple factors and trends over time, in addition to the client goals and willingness. If surgery is indicated and not an option, euthanasia is probably indicated.

  1. Persistent pain, even after appropriate analgesics.
  2. Rapid physiologic deterioration
  3. Persistent reflux + pain
  4. Lack of manure and GI sounds despite rehydration
  5. Abnormal rectal combined with lack of response to treatment
  6. Serosanguinous abdominocentesis
  7. Enterolith identified

Peek inside colic surgery

prep time- colic surgery is generally  performed with the horse in dorsal recumbency

Colic exploration –youtube video


Exploratory Celiotomy in the Horse Secondary to Acute Colic: A Review of Indications and Success Rates.Topics in Companion Animal Medicine Volume 34, March 2019, Pages 1-9- even has algorithms!



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Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD; Elaine Norton, DVM PhD; Erica Dobbs, DVM; and Ashley Ezzo, DVM is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.