The Gastrointestinal Physical Exam

Most often a gastrointestinal physical exam is performed in cases suspected of colic.  Colic simply means abdominal pain, and one must remember to also consider less obvious causes of colic than pain elicited from the gastrointestinal system.  A general medical history is an essential part of the initial exam.  It should include a description of the horse’s housing/environment, feeding program, parasite control, vaccination, previous medical problems, and the value of the horse to the owner.  Obtaining information about the duration, progression and severity of signs and the horse’s response to any medications (if administered) are crucial in determining the necessity for surgical treatment.  In cases of colic, there are no simple pathognomonic signs to determine the cause, thus a consistent and complete physical exam must be performed.  

Click on the numbers in order beginning with No. 1 to begin your PE.



Copyright 1999-2001
New Bolton Center Field Service Department
Students:  Keith Javic - Class of 2003, C. Nikki Conroy - Class of 2003