When I was boarding layups from a local clinic I had a colostomy patient. Rectal tear. Horse did well for about a month and then colostomy broke down 3 days before the horse was to be re-plumbed. Mare did not survive which was sad as we were all so optimistic.
Gotta be uber temporary... - I would want the horse to stay in the horsepital for the duration...
Edited to add: I googled it quickly, saw two studies, in one out of 10 horses 8 died, in the other 7 horses 2 died, and a third died months later from colic. That study concluded that the prognosis in the procedure was "favorable". Personally, I don't agree, and I wouldn't do it. I think its too troublesome for a horse to deal with and the enforced convalescence has too many possible side complicaitons. Founder being one, colic, infection, I just think that is one of the things that go beyond good care for an animal, and may be an attractive idea for humans to want to do, but not something I would do to an animal. some heroic surgeries I would do, this isn't one of them, all on face value, there may be more to consider, the OP hasn't offered any infomration, and I admittedly am not someone with experience with it.
Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.
This horse had an easy time and the layup was simple. The horse went out on a shank to graze 2 or 3 times/day. Did not seem the least bit uncomfortable. The horse did not wear a bag - the manure was dropped out the side one little flatish bit at a time. The whole thing was harder on the people than the horse although the prognosis was not great. This was a good 20 years ago.
Dinah.. did that horse live with the colostomy permanently? If so, did you lose contact w/owners, or did it die of other causes years later?.. or was it the one that died 3 days before discharge?
And everyone, please understand I'm not in a position where I can share a bunch of info. Just curious to see the situations that prompted this procedure, the longevity afterward, as well as aftercare, complications, etc.
I will say I've heard that rectal tears/ nerve damage causing impaired motility in the colon has started discussions of colostomy in my circles..
Last edited by Sansena; Apr. 5, 2009 at 10:10 AM.
Reason: I'm paying attention now..
Sorry but I wouldn't even think about doing such a procedure on a horse, temporary or otherwise. I feel that there is and should be a limit to what sort of surgical procedures are attempted on large animals (really any animal for that matter). What is viable for a thinking, reasoning human being simply is not to an animal who's quality of life is far more important than the quantity. A horse has a MASSIVE intestine and processes extremely large amounts of fiber, I can see no way that a colostomy would work on an animal such as a horse without severly restricting their diet which is going to lead to further complications, i.e. ulcers etc. People need to take a more realistic view of what they attempt on these animals!
Had a mare with a rectal tear last year. Surgeon said he'd done colostomy's before, but that the chances of survival are very small and the damage to the pocketbook very large. He said he has also gotten to the point of reversing the colostomy a few times, but that in the end the horses never lived for all that much longer (months at the most) and so he strongly recommmended (this is after we managed to keep the mare alive for two months after the tear) that she be put down. In his opinion is it a somewhat futile exercise meant only for those with limitless funds and a horse that is "priceless", like Barbaro. Even then he considered it unfair to the horse as in his opinion the end result is usually not good, and of course there is a lot of pain that the horse has to endure until then.
I would never want to take anyone's hope away from them, but after everything we put my poor girl through I felt awful. My other vet was not willing to give up at the time, but had I known then what I know now, I would never have asked her to keep trying (and she did, right to the very end, a very very special horse).
Re the mare in my previous post. I believe the mare's owner sometimes lurks here and out of respect to her Iwill not get too involved. I did not see the mare until she came to my place for layup but she was certainly comfortable and ate hay all day. Her stall was sort of messy but layup stalls are usually gutted each day anyway. I dont think the prognosis was great but the owner wanted to try as did the clinic. There was some leaway on the bill, The colostomy was on the right flank at the widest point of the abdomen/barrel so as to let manure fall clear. Surgery to re-attach was successful but the mare died rather suddenly. IIRC I never did hear what the necropsy showed but I assume peritonitis. However it was a long while ago. The mare was a totally upbeat morgan - bright, happy and never missed a meal as a patient. Her TPR was alway normal and it was taken at least 2 times a day and often more. The colostomy wasn't gross at all but a little odd when it broke down.
We have a mare that tore her entire rectum during birth, losing 5 ft of intestine. We made it to OSU in time to do the surgery. We made it during the golden period after a major trauma. There wasn't much time to debate doing it. Wish us luck. I'd welcome contacts. Privately would be better.