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How effective is surgical closure of the nephrosplenic space in preventing recurrent colic in horses?
  1. Marco Gandini
  1. Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
  1. email: marco.gandini{at}

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Colic – loosely defined as abdominal pain from any cause – is very common in horses, with clinical signs ranging from mild to severe. Most horses that suffer a bout of mild colic will recover, often without veterinary treatment. However, despite advances in medical and surgical treatment, severe colic remains an important cause of death in horses.1

While many horses that recover from colic can go on for years without the condition reappearing, horses with a history of colic are predisposed to further episodes.2 The recurrence rate for colic in these horses is estimated to be 50 cases per 100 horse years at risk.2 Managing these recurrent episodes is often difficult and frustrating for owners.

Although it is not possible to obtain a definitive diagnosis in many cases of recurrent colic, both management factors3-5 and surgical complications6 have been reported to be associated with the risk of recurrence.

Nephrosplenic entrapment (NSE) – characterised by the …

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