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Esophageal Neoplasia in Large Animals

By

Jan F. Hawkins

, DVM, DACVS, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University

Last full review/revision Dec 2013 | Content last modified Dec 2013
Topic Resources

The most common neoplasia of the esophagus in horses is squamous cell carcinoma, which carries a guarded prognosis. Focal neoplastic masses can be managed with esophageal resection and anastomosis. Unfortunately, most cases of squamous cell carcinoma are not amenable to surgery, and euthanasia should be considered.

In ruminants, bovine viral papillomas (ie, warts) occasionally develop in the cranial esophagus and pharynx and, in the presence of other agents, may result in development of esophageal carcinoma. In some areas of the world (eg, Scotland and South America), such disease may follow ingestion of natural bracken fern toxins. There is also a causal relationship between such bracken fern tumors and bladder cancers in cattle. (Also see Bracken Fern Poisoning.)

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Colic is a simple term meaning abdominal pain. There are many causes of colic in horses, with treatments ranging from administration of pain medication to abdominal surgery. Signs of colic are variable and do not indicate which part of the gastrointestinal tract is involved. Which of the following clinical signs is easily recognized as a common sign of colic? 
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