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Compendium September 2010 (Vol 32, No 9)

Clinical Snapshot — Abdominal Pain in a Thoroughbred Colt

by José R. Castro, DVM, Alan R. Dorton, DVM

    A 5-month-old Thoroughbred colt presented to the Woodford Equine Hospital emergency service with a 10-hour history of abdominal pain. One hour before presentation, the colt received flunixin meglumine (250 mg IM). At presentation, the colt’s rectal temperature was 98.2°F (36.8°C), heart rate was 44 bpm, and respiratory rate was 36 breaths/min. The oral mucous membranes were tacky and pink, and the capillary refill time was 2 seconds. Auscultation of the abdomen revealed decreased borborygmi in all four quadrants. Due to the colt’s small size, transrectal examination was not performed, and no fluid was obtained by nasogastric intubation. Complete blood count abnormalities included moderate leukocytosis (16,840 cells/µL) and a neutrophil count of 10,290 cells/µL; no band neutrophils were identified. Transabdominal ultrasonography revealed distended, amotile loops of small intestine and a moderate amount of peritoneal fluid. Abdominocentesis yielded clear, yellow fluid with a normal protein concentration. Because the patient’s condition continued to deteriorate and the abdominal pain was refractory to analgesics, exploratory surgery was performed; the principal finding is shown in


    1. What is your diagnosis?

    2. What is the typical location of the anomaly identified by the arrow?

    3. What other problems can develop secondary to this anomaly?

    4. What are the treatment options?

    To see the answers,

    NEXT: Clinical Snapshot — Ocular Hemangiosarcoma in a Husky


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