CHARACTER AND COLOR OF THE MUCOUS MEMBRANES / CRT
Examining the mucous membranes of the conjunctiva and
critical parameters in the assessment of a patient presented for colic.
The color of the mucous membranes in a colicky horse may vary from pale
pink to brick red to cyanotic blue to purple.
A colicky horse can have normal mucous membranes. Simple obstructive or spasmodic colics rarely show degenerative changes
in the color or refill time of the mucous membranes.
Changes in color are most likely associated with vascular strangulating
lesions which cause hypovolemic changes due to fluid redistribution.
Pale mucous membranes: Occurs
in horses suffering from shock form hypovolemia or pain.
This finding may accompany other signs such as cold extremities.
Red mucous membranes:
Associated with septic or endotoxic shock when blood pools in the
capillaries and small vessels.
Cyanotic mucous membranes:
The result of severe or prolonged shock.
This may be seen along with an overlying hyperemic tone due to the
pooling of blood in the capillaries and the cellís subsequent depletion of
oxygen. This indicated a poor
prognostic sign and presents as a high surgical and anesthetic risk.