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Nephrosplenic Entrapment

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  • Nephrosplenic Entrapment

    Hi all,

    Looking for advice if possible, have searched threads but wanted more information on this.

    Me and my partner recently went to purchase our first horse. A few days before completing the purchase the horse became ill with colic-like symptoms and to cut a long story short, he was admitted to hospital and surgery was performed. With any other horse, you'd walk away instantly however this is a horse my partner has loved and wanted for years. We therefore requested to see information from the hospital and the report stated:

    "... this was suggestive of Nephrosplenic Entrapment with gas filled colon sitting in the Nephrosplenic region... It was recommended to proceed to surgical exploration"

    "... upon midline celiotomy, the caecum was seen to be markedly gas distended and the colon massively filled with fluid and faecal ingesta and entrapped in the Nephrosplenic space."

    Therefore I believe through the technical jargon he suffered from Nephrosplenic Entrapment? After researching the topic, this seams to be a type of colic-surgery but not actual colic itself? My questions are therefore:
    • What are the chances of this recurring?
    • As this was a colic type surgery, will nobody insure us for this?

    If it was any other horse, we would walk away instantly. However as this horse is special to us, we need to know the exact amount of risk before making a decision to proceed with the purchase or not. Can anyone advise?

    Thank you

  • #2
    Well, colic = belly pain. A nephrosplenic entrapment causes belly pain, so yeah, it falls under the very broad umbrella of "colic." A horse that's had surgery for a nephrosplenic entrapment is probably not insurable for colic.

    I believe there is something they can do during surgery to eliminate the possibility that it will happen again, but if that's not done, then yes--it can happen again. The likelihood of a recurrence likely depends on the conditions that lead up to the initial episode.

    I'd have a long conversation with your vet and the surgeon on this one.


    • #3
      I know of one that had a second entrapment even though his original surgical repair was planned on it not ever happening again.
      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


      • #4
        Is the horse a cribber by chance? They have an increased risk of this problem.
        As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks for replys, all information helps. No hes not a cribber. I guess a conversation with the surgeon is the best bet If I can get permission. Most sites seam to suggest the exact cause is unknown and judging by old threads on here it seams a lot of people have had it more than once and therefore it may just be a matter of taking a gamble or not (especially if we cannot get insurance for colic). Any tips for prevention? Read that good dieting and use of probiotics may help.


          • #6
            This happened with my horse this winter, and we did the nephrosplenic ablation (laparoscopic surgery to close the space between the kidney and spleen so that the colon can't get stuck again--if all goes as planned).

            He has since colicked several times, and because his colon can't go back into that area, it tends to travel elsewhere (to the right side of his abdomen rather than the left). He's 22, and has had his share of health problems, so I wouldn't necessarily use him as the standard (unless that's what your vet says). If they generally produce enough gas to entrap their colon, then it could always happen again.

            I would talk with the surgeon to see what they think and what the likelihood of it recurring is. With my guy, the surgeon said that there was definite scarring from the entrapment happening previously.

            Hopefully everything works out for you and your partner


            • Original Poster

              Thanks SlimChance.

              Ironic with your username, theres a slim chance of getting decent insurance. Spoke to a few companies today and have been told they would want to exclude the whole digestive system, which includes several organs, ulcers etc. All would be excluded from not only vet fees but also on death.

              All seams to point to that we'd be taking a huge gamble and he will most likely cost us a lot in the long run. Will have to have a chat with the surgeon and see. I'd also presume the market value has dropped dramatically? If anyone elses has experience with this still post as it will all help.
              Last edited by mike; Apr. 23, 2013, 10:08 AM.


              • #8
                I had a mare who had colic surgery in 2008 due to a nephrospenic entrapment. She had foaled 20 hours earlier. She has never colicked since and has had 3 more foals.