Colonic Health in Hospitalized Horses Treated with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs – A Preliminary Study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • G. van Galen
  • C. Saegerman
  • S. Hyldahl Laursen
  • Jacobsen, Stine
  • M. Andersson Munk
  • H. Sjöström
  • S. Holm Lindmark
  • D. Verwilghen

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause right dorsal colitis, but longitudinal clinical studies are lacking. This study investigates whether NSAID treated horses develop right dorsal colonic pathology in a clinical setting. Non-gastrointestinal hospitalized horses treated with NSAIDs >4 days, and untreated hospital-owned teaching horses and non-gastrointestinal client-owned hospitalized horses were included. All horses were monitored over time with clinical examinations (focusing on presence of colic, depression, reduced appetite, unstructured feces), ultrasonographic intestinal wall measurements, fecal occult blood tests (semi-quantitative results), and blood analysis (total protein and albumin concentrations, white blood cell and neutrophil counts). Outcomes were recorded as “ultrasonographically thickened right dorsal colon (RDC) walls”, “colitis” and “right dorsal colitis”. Findings over time were compared to baseline values and to control horses. Seventeen NSAID treated horses and 5 controls were included. NSAID treated horses developed thickened RDC walls (4/9), and subclinical and mild colitis (9/11) and right dorsal colitis (4/10), whereas all control horses remained healthy. The first changes were identified on treatment day 2. RDC walls of treated horses were significantly thicker compared to their own baseline values and compared to control horses. In conclusion, presumptive colon pathology was identified with a high incidence, starting early in the course of treatment, but with low severity. Appropriate monitoring should be advised throughout NSAID treatment. Additional research for noninvasive diagnostic tests for colon pathology is required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103451
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

    Research areas

  • Fecal occult blood, NSAID, Right dorsal colitis, Right dorsal colon, Ultrasonography

ID: 301353618