Article Text

Peritonitis in adult horses: a review of 21 cases
  1. TS Mair,
  2. MH Hillyer and
  3. FG Taylor
  1. Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bristol, School of Veterinary Science, Langford, Avon.


The clinical signs in 21 adult horses affected by peritonitis (unassociated with gastrointestinal rupture or surgical interference of the abdomen) included colic (18 cases), pyrexia (15 cases), weight loss (six cases) and diarrhoea (five cases). The diagnosis was based on a nucleated cell count in peritoneal fluid greater than 10(10)/litre. Haematological abnormalities (either neutropenia or neutrophilia) were present in 17 animals, and hyperfibrinogenaemia was identified in 14. Twelve of the 21 horses survived after intensive antibiotic therapy; the other nine were destroyed either at exploratory laparotomy or after continued clinical deterioration. Necrosis or perforation of the bowel wall was found post mortem in eight of the horses.

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.