Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Gastrointestinal: physical examination

Contributor(s): Prof Jonathon Naylor, Jarred Williams

Introduction

  • Defects or disorders of the gastrointestinal system - may be subtle or complex, chronic or acute and require thorough investigation to identify the location of the lesion, broad category of disease process, differentiate causes and determine the significance of signs.
  • Gastrointestinal lesions can be grouped into 3 broad disease categories: inflammation, strangulating obstruction, and non-strangulating obstruction.
  • The colic examination is performed to identify what section of the gastrointestinal tract is affected and which disease process is occurring so that a more definitive diagnosis, treatment plan, and prognosis can be determined.

Uses

  • Part of routine physical examination.
  • For assessment of acute abdominal crises.
  • Diagnostic workup of conditions that may be connected to the gastrointestinal system.
  • Part of an extended pre-purchase examination Pre-purchase examination where there is an indication that the gastrointestinal system should be investigated, eg a history of colic, vices, surgical scars.

Advantages

  • Essential component of decision making in cases of colic Abdomen: pain - adult.
  • Provides a reasonably comprehensive assessment.
  • Minimally invasive techniques.

Disadvantages

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Busoni V, Busscher V, Lopez D et al (2011) Evaluation of a protocol for fast localised abdominal sonography of horses (FLASH) admitted for colic. Vet J 188 (1) 77-82 PubMed.
  • Dixon PM (2000) Removal of equine dental overgrowths. Equine Vet Educ 12 (2), 68-81 VetMedResource.
  • Singer E R (1998) Gastric reflux - what does it mean? Equine Vet Educ 10 (4), 191-197 WileyOnline.
  • Moore B R & Moore R M (1994) Examination of the equine patient with gastrointestinal emergency. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 10 (3), 549-566 PubMed.


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