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Equine Health Resource

Enteritis, Acute

The equine small intestine is a massive organ, about 70 feet long. It connects the stomach with the large intestine and assists in digestion and absorption. Any disease that damages or disrupts this organ is life-threatening.

Enteritis is inflammation of the small intestine. Acute enteritis is the sudden onset of inflammation from some cause.

Bacterial infection can cause enteritis. Certain toxins (poisons) can also cause inflammation of this part of the intestine, but generalized inflammation or infection is rare and not much is known about it. This problem is less defined as a syndrome than Duodenitis-Proximal Jejunitis, but may be confused with it, as well as strangulating conditions of the small intestine. Ultimately, the full extent of enteritis may only be defined by exploratory colic surgery or examination post-mortem.

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Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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