Gastro-intestinal diseases

The most common problems we deal with are colic and diarrhoea and although some horses that are admitted with colic required surgery to relieve their problems, many are successfully treated medically with painkillers, bowel relaxants and oral and/or intravenous fluids.

The most important part of this process is an accurate diagnosis that may require specialist investigation beyond the routine clinical and rectal examinations and stomach tubing that we would perform in the field. More advanced investigations can include laboratory testing of blood and abdominal peritoneal fluid samples, ultrasound scanning of the intestine and other abdominal organs, faecal testing for parasites, bacteria, toxins and evidence of bleeding and/or ulceration, gastroscopy and on occasion keyhole laparoscopic examination of the inside of the abdomen.

Image: Ultrasound image of a intussusception obstruction of the large intestine



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