Article Text

Entrapment of the small intestine in the epiploic foramen in horses: a retrospective analysis of 71 cases recorded between 1991 and 2001
  1. D. C. Archer, BVMS, CertES, DipECVS, MRCVS,
  2. C. J. Proudman, MA, VetMB, PhD, CertEO, FRCVS,
  3. G. Pinchbeck, BVSc, PhD, CertEO, MRCVS,
  4. J. E. Smith,
  5. N. P. French, BVSc, MSc, DLSTM, PhD, MRCVS and
  6. G. B. Edwards, BVSc, DVetMed, FRCVS1
  1. 1 Philip Leverhulme Large Animal Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Neston, Cheshire CH64 7TE


The clinical features of 71 cases in 70 horses in which part of the small intestine became entrapped in the epiploic foramen are described. The horses' sex, age and breed, the month during which they were affected, and whether they exhibited stereotypic behaviour were compared with the same variables in 1279 horses which suffered other types of surgical colic during the same period. Thoroughbred and thoroughbred cross horses were over-represented among the 70 affected horses. There was no age or sex predilection. Fifty-five (77˙5 per cent) of the cases occurred between October and March and 15 (21˙1 per cent) occurred in January. The cases were significantly more likely to have a history of crib-biting/windsucking than the control group (odds ratio 7˙9, 95 per cent confidence interval 4˙1 to 15˙3). The condition had recurred in two of the horses. Fifty-eight (81˙7 per cent) recovered from surgery and 49 (69 per cent) survived until they were discharged from hospital. The median survival time of 31 of the affected horses discharged from the hospital was 700 days, whereas 417 horses with other types of surgical colic had a median survival time in excess of 1931 days.

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