New research shows that the outlook is excellent for broodmares who undergo surgery to repair intestinal damage resulting from a cranial0 mesenteric rent—a tear in the membrane that envelops the intestines and anchors them to the abdominal wall.
Mesenteric rents have many causes, including trauma or congenital malformations. In broodmares, they may be caused by foal movement during delivery. If a portion of intestine slips through a mesenteric rent, surgery may be needed to repair intestinal damage and close the tear.
In a retrospective study of 38 broodmares who under-went this type of surgery, researchers at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Kentucky, found that 88 percent survived to be discharged from the clinic.
Among the horses discharged, 97 percent were still alive at a one-year follow-up check. All of the long-term survivors returned to use as broodmares.
In addition, closure of the rent decreased the odds of repeat colic after discharge, but it had no effect on survival rates. “Based on our data,” the researchers conclude, “closure of rents is recommended to prevent recurrence of colic but may be unnecessary for survival.”
Reference: “Duodenojejunal mesenteric rents: Survival and complications after surgical correction in 38 broodmares (2006-2014),” Veterinary Surgery, February 2017a
This article was originally published the April 2016 issue, Volume #475 of EQUUS magazine