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Preliminary results on the association with feeding and recovery length in equine colic patients after laparotomy

Valle, Emanuela, Giusto, Gessica, Penazzi, Livio, Giribaldi, Marzia, Bergero, Domenico, Fradinho, Maria João, Lamas, Luís Ressano Garcia P., Gandini, Marco
Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition 2019 v.103 no.4 pp. 1233-1241
anesthesia, colic, data collection, defecation, descriptive statistics, drinking, fluid therapy, forage, horses, hospitals, laparotomy, multiple comparison test, multivariate analysis, patients, protein content, retrospective studies
Colic is a serious disease for horses and the nutritional management of postoperative colic patients is an extremely important field. The aim of this retrospective study was to analyse the different factors, especially related to nutritional management, that may be associated with recovery length during hospitalization after a surgical intervention for colic, using a multivariate model. Data were collected from the records of horses presented to two hospitals and undergoing surgery for colic. The length (days) of recovery was the outcome of interest and was taken into account as a reference parameter (short, medium, long). The parameters collected (patient details, preoperative clinical and laboratory examinations, postoperative parameters and post‐surgery nutritional parameters) were subjected to multivariate analysis (MCA and PCoA). A ranking class dataset was used to calculate Kendall's tau correlation of the length of recovery with respect to other parameters. Descriptive statistic to identify differences in the recovery length among groups (Kruskal–Wallis and Dunn's Multiple Comparison Test) was also performed. p value was set at < 0.05. Groups were not different in preoperative clinical parameters (BCS, PCV, total protein), postoperative parameters (time to 1st defecation, time to the end of IV fluid therapy and time to first water drinking, anaesthesia) and patient details (age). The comparison among groups revealed differences on the post‐surgical nutritional parameters. Horses with short recovery consumed higher % of DM as forages in the 24 hr compared with the horses that have a long recovery and reach the minimum DM intake in a shorter period. Both Kendall and MCA analysis confirmed that the time to first feeding had a positive association with the length of recovery. Only 37 horses undergoing colic surgery were included in the study. From a clinical standpoint, this study has shown which nutritional parameters are associated with short recovery.