Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Urogenital: rectal palpation

Contributor(s): John Dascanio

Introduction

Uses

  • Rectal examination of horses allows examination of approximately one-third of the abdominal cavity.
  • Investigation of:
    • The reproductive cycle in mares, and disease of the urogenital system in mares, stallions and geldings.
    • Gastrointestinal disorders, particularly colic   Abdomen: pain - adult  .
    • Cases where a pelvic fracture is suspected   Pelvis: fracture  .

Advantages

  • Non-invasive, simple, cheap, and useful technique.
  • Easily performed on farm.
  • Allows surface palpation of organs that cannot be imaged by percutaneous ultrasonographic examination.
  • Three-dimensional assessment of the shape and position of those organs (whereas ultrasonography and radiography are limited to images in two dimensions).
  • Assessment of the texture of the organs, as well as their shape and position.

Disadvantages

  • Rectal tears   Rectum: tear  .
  • Limited to caudal abdomen.
  • Injury to the handler or veterinarian is not uncommon.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Lofstedt R M (1997) Pregnancy diagnosis in the horse. Equine Vet Educ 9, 293-294.


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