Prevalence of and risk factors for postoperative ileus after small intestinal surgery in two hundred and thirty-three horses. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: To determine the incidence of postoperative ileus (POI) in a population of horses after small intestinal surgery and the effect of multiple variables on development of POI. STUDY DESIGN: Case series. ANIMALS: Horses (n=233) aged > or =1 year that had exploratory celiotomy for small intestinal disease that recovered from surgery from 1995 to 2005. METHODS: Sixty-eight variables were collected from medical records (1995-2005) for each horse. POI was defined as nasogastric reflux volume >20 L over 24 hours or >8 L at any single time after surgery. RESULTS: Twenty-seven percent (64/233) of horses developed POI; 29 of 64 (46%) horses with POI had duodenitis proximal jejunitis (DPJ). When no intestinal resection was required at surgery, excluding horses with DPJ, 15% of horses had POI; 30% horses had POI after intestinal resection. Ten percent of horses had POI for >24 hours. When horses with DPJ were excluded, factors associated with increased risk of POI included high packed cell volume at hospital admission (P=.024), increasing age (P=.0004), and length of intestinal resection (P=.05). CONCLUSIONS: Risk factors for POI in this study were nonspecific although horses with intestinal resection are at higher risk compared with horses without intestinal resection. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Predicting with certainty which cases will develop POI remains elusive.

published proceedings

  • Vet Surg

author list (cited authors)

  • Holcombe, S. J., Rodriguez, K. M., Haupt, J. L., Campbell, J. O., Chaney, K. P., Sparks, H. D., & Hauptman, J. G

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Holcombe, Susan J||Rodriguez, Katie M||Haupt, Jennifer L||Campbell, James O||Chaney, Kristin P||Sparks, Holly D||Hauptman, Joe G

publication date

  • April 2009