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.