Article Text

Perforation of the gastrointestinal tracts of four horses by metallic wires
  1. M. N. Saulez, BVSc, MS, DACVIM, PhD, MRCVS1,
  2. A. Burton, BVSc, MRCVS2,
  3. J. C. A. Steyl, BVSc3,
  4. J. H. Williams, BVSc3 and
  5. S. J. Clift, BVSc3
  1. 1 Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Equine Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Private Bag X04, Ondersterpoort, 0110 South Africa
  2. 2 Cornell University Hospital for Animals, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
  3. 3 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  1. E-mail for correspondence: montague.saulez{at}


The medical records of four horses whose intestines had been perforated by metallic wires were reviewed. Three of the horses developed acute colic, and the other progressively lost weight and became inappetent and pyrexic. Metallic wires were detected either by exploratory laparotomy or postmortem examination. In three of the horses there were adhesions containing an encapsulated metallic wire in the small intestine, and in the other the wire was contained within an abscess with multiple adhesions involving the liver, spleen and mesentery.

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