Lipoma, Pedunculated - Horse

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Medical Treatment of Colic in Horses


A pedunculated lipoma is a common cause of small intestinal strangulation or obstruction in horses older than ten to fifteen years of age. It is seen in all types of horses but most commonly in ponies and cob-type horses. Gelding appears to be an additional risk factor. Lipomas attach to the mesentery of the intestine via a stalk or pedicle of varying length. The stalk becomes wrapped around a segment of small intestine, causing compression of the intestinal lumen and corresponding mesenteric vessels.

Clinical signs

  • Acute onset abdominal pain (flank-watching, rolling, kicking, pawing)
  • Decreased borborygmi

Other clinical findings include the production of large volumes of gastric reflux following nasogastric intubation, although this may be absent in the early stages of disease. Multiple distended loops of small intestine may be palpable on rectal examination or visible on ultrasonographic examination.