Cecal impaction (a type of colic) can have life-threatening complications if not diagnosed and treated promptly. Researchers in Pennsylvania set out to evaluate short‐ and long‐term outcomes after medical and surgical management of horses with cecal impaction and to determine reasons for death or euthanasia. Data collected from medical records (1991‐2011) of horses with a diagnosis of cecal impaction was conducted and included medical signs, history of recent disease and surgical procedures, admission data, management, complications and final outcome.
Short‐term outcomes (alive or dead at discharge) and long‐term outcomes (alive or dead at ≥ 1 year) were determined by telephone interview.
Of 150 horses hospitalized with a diagnosis of cecal impaction, 102 (68%) had a history of recent disease or a surgical procedure. Thirty‐eight horses (25%) had cecal perforation at admission and three horses (2%) were euthanized without treatment. Of 109 horses treated, 59 (54%) were managed medically and 50 (46%) surgically.
The proportion of horses alive at hospital discharge was significantly lower for horses managed medically (61%) compared with surgically (82%). Fifty-seven percent of horses managed medically were alive at one year.
The proportion of horses alive at hospital discharge was lower for both medically and surgically managed horses with cecal impaction compared to past reports. There was decreased survival for horses treated medically than those treated surgically.
Researchers recommend treating cecal impactions surgically rather than medically. However, 61% of horses managed medically survived. Horse owners should be aware of outcomes when selected a management method for horses with cecal impactions. For more information on this study, click here.
This information was first published by the University of Minnesota.