To determine if there were significant differences produced by 5 of the most prevalent causes of equine enterocolitis, we studied retrospectively the gross and microscopic pathology of 90 cases of enterocolitis submitted to the San Bernardino laboratory of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory. Included were cases caused by Clostridium perfringens type C (CP; n = 20), Clostridioides difficile (CD; n = 20), Paeniclostridium sordellii (PS; n = 15), Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhimurium (ST; n = 20), and NSAID intoxication (NS; n = 15). Grossly, necrotizing hemorrhagic typhlocolitis was seen most frequently in cases of CD, ST, and NS disease. Cases of CP and PS had enteritis or colitis in similar percentages. Congestion, hemorrhage, and pleocellular inflammatory infiltrates followed by mucosal and submucosal necrosis were the main lesions found in horses with enteritis or colitis produced by any of the etiologic agents investigated. Severe lesions were more frequent in cases of CD and CP than in cases associated with any of the other 3 etiologies. Pseudomembranes were observed with similar prevalence in the small intestine and colon affected by all agents studied. Thrombosis of the lamina propria and/or submucosa was observed in ~50% of the cases of enteritis and colitis by all etiologies, except for PS, in which the majority of the cases had thrombosis. Gross and microscopic lesions of enterocolitis were not sufficiently specific for any of these etiologic agents to enable these enteritides to be distinguished by gross and/or histologic examination.
- Clostridioides difficile
- Clostridium perfringens
- Paeniclostridium sordellii
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Salmonella enterica ser. Typhimurium
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