Medical Management of Right Dorsal Colitis in 5 Horses: A Retrospective Study (1987–1993)
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Right dorsal colitis in horses has been associated with administration of phenylbutazone. Although reports of right dorsal colitis in this species have described surgical treatment associated with a poor prognosis, we have had success treating this condition medically. This report describes 5 horses with right dorsal colitis confirmed during celiotomy that were initially managed medically. All horses had a history of intermittent abdominal pain; weight loss was noted in only 1 horse. The doses (2.0 to 4.6 mg/kg PO bid) and duration (5 to 30 days) of administration of phenylbutazone were not unusually high relative to those recommended (4.4 mg/kg PO bid). Hypoproteinemia and hypoalbuminemia were observed in all horses at the time of admission; packed cell volume was low in 4 horses, and hypocalcemia was also observed in 4 horses. Three of 5 horses (60%) appeared to respond to dietary management and discontinuation of administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Dietary management consisted of feeding pelleted feed, and restricting or eliminating roughage for a period of at least 3 months. Two horses developed strictures of the right dorsal colon. One horse that developed a colonic stricture, possibly because its owners did not comply with recommendations for management, was subsequently treated surgically. The remaining horse that developed a stricture of the right dorsal colon was euthanized. These data indicate that some horses with right dorsal colitis can be successfully managed with medical treatment.
author list (cited authors)
Cohen, N. D., Carter, G. K., Mealey, R. H., & Taylor, T. S.