Colic is a general term to describe abdominal pain in horses, with severe cases requiring emergency surgery. Surgical site infections (SSI) are the second most common complication after colic surgery, occurring in 10 to 37 percent of cases. Standard care includes antibiotic administration to reduce SSI and other complications. Although human studies have shown no benefit to prolonging antibiotic administration to beyond 24 hours, use beyond 24 hours is common in horses. However, there is very little data to support this practice. Researchers will conduct a small, randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effect of 24 versus 72 hours of perioperative antibiotic administration on the development of SSIs in horses. Findings will inform optimal antibiotic protocols for equine colic patients to help minimize SSI risk and other complications, such as increased antibiotic resistance and antibiotic-associated colitis.
Grant amount awarded
North Carolina State University
Megan J. Burke, DVM
Gastroenterology (Liver, Stomach, Intestinal Tract)