Colic: The Leading Cause of Equine Death

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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. E...

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