Message Number: YG2852 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-04-23 06:51:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Perforated Intestine

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., ejaml@c... wrote:
> The perforation was not in the rectum or colon, that much I'm
> sure of. Exactly what part of the intestine I myself couldn't say.
> can tell you it was not seen when the incision was made to expose
> organs in his abdominal cavity. I do know that it was located on
> last area that was examined and was not visible until lifted out and
> rolled over. Where that area would be normally, I can't say. It was
> on an area of his intestines that laid back by his spine, the
> perforation was on the side of it. It was not at the beginning of
> intestines by his stomach but at the other end.

The colon is generally the most dorsal (closest to spine) segment of
the GI tract, and if you start at the stomach, s most vets do, then
the colon is generally the last part examined.

The size of the
> intestine was approximately the size of my thumb in roundness and
> roughly 6 inches in length if not more. The digested food before
> after the perforation was what I would call well digested, not a
> liquid but on the drier side so that with tweezers you could remove
> it, and normal in color. The opening of the perforation was round,
> just a little bit bigger then size of the top of a pencil eraser.
> None of the digested food was protruding out of the opening until
> doctor used an instrument to move the intestine (what was in the
> abdominal area was there from before). When he applied pressure
> it began to protrude rolling the tissue of the opening back. The
> coloration of that whole area was not pink but more purple in color.
> I assumed at the time it was because the intestine was so enlarged
> with all that food being eaten and not passed or vomited up. I'm
> in the medical field and this is the best that I can describe what
> saw and where it was located.

Your description of a segment of intestine that is thge diameter of
your thumb does sound enlarged. Generally if you look at where it
narrows (in the directionof the anus) it is there that you will find
the problem, a blockage, or occasionally a tumor which prevents the
food from passing. In front of this obstruction, the intestine
continues to get larger and larger, unitl, as in this case, the wall
is stretched and weakened to a point where it ruptures.

> I should be getting the pathology report back today or tomorrow and
> that should have important information on it. I just read in an
> earlier post that someone will be sending you tissue samples. If
> you'd like I'll gladly see if I can do the same thing.

We'll see if the pathology report comes back with any definitive
information first. In cases like these, photographs of the autopsy
should be taken, as they are much more likely to yield an answer as
to the segment of the enteron which was ruptured.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM, DACVP
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