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Colic: The Leading Cause Of Equine Death

2381 words - 10 pages

Many horses suffer from colic every year, aging from a few months to over 20 years old. It can be curable when treated in a sufficient time. However if too much time is passed, the most likely outcome is death.
Colic is defined as an abdominal pain, more specific, pain induced by seizures of the colon. In the horse, colic is associated with intestinal ileus or inflammation (White and Edwards, 1999).
When a horse is going through colic, and needs to go into surgery, equine laparoscopy is one of the more common methods used. Other procedure techniques include cryptorchidectomy, overiectomy, nephrosplenic space ablation, standing abdominal exploratory, and many others.
Equine laparoscopy consists of inserting a fiber-optic instrument through the abdominal wall into the abdominal cavity. This instrument allows veterinarians to observe the organs from the outside of the body, on a monitor. Some challenges that come with that is with trying to perform surgery on a 3-dimensional animal on a 2-dimensional monitor. The first equine laparoscopy examination was in the 1970’s, and since then has gone through many transformations in over 40 years. This translated to human medicine in the 1960’s and 1970’s when laparoscopy became useful in gynecologic practice. Recent progress in human laparoscopy is now being used in equine laparoscopy (Hendrickson, 2012).
In 1983, laparoscopy was being used to evaluate the reproductive tract with a laparoscope alone for diagnostics, or for biopsies or manipulations by an operating laparoscope. Some of the manipulations used were an ovarian biopsy, pelvic mass biopsy, culture of bacteria in the infundibulum, and tubal patency inspection. Then in the 1990’s surgical laparoscopy became very common. Equine laparoscopic surgery provides many benefits over traditional surgery for other procedures. The popularity arose because of the fact that there is minimal invasion, offers great visualization, hemostasis strain free, and the procedure can be done with the horse completely standing, and excludes the use of anesthesia (Hendrickson, 2012).
Detailed description about the physiology of topic … The physiological system which colic is involved in is the digestive system. The digestive system starts with the horse’s mouth and is not complete till the material is passed all the way through the body and then leaves the body through the rectum. Because horses do not have a rumen, like other livestock animals, a majority of their digesting of fiber occurs in the large intestine, which is where colic most commonly occurs. However problems can occur anywhere along the digestive track. Besides the large colon, the next most likely organ for colic to occur is in the small intestine, then the small colon, cecum, stomach, and finally less than one percent chance of occurring in the rectum (King, 1999).
The most common location for a colic impaction in a horse would be the large intestine. It is in the large intestine where...

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