An 8-year-old castrated Siberian husky mixed-breed presented for vomiting and depression in the morning. The dog was 5% dehydrated, tachycardic, and painful on abdominal palpation.
Abdominal radiographs (See Figure 1 above, right lateral; See Figure 2 below, ventrodorsal) showing severe gas distention of the colon (C) with displacement right of midline; there is also fluid and gas distention of the small intestines (SM). When radiographically assessing the intestinal tract, it is important to differentiate colon from small intestine. In this case, colonic torsion was suspected because of the segment of extreme dilation and lack of identification of normal colon.
Results of CBC and serum biochemistry profile were unremarkable. Abdominal radiographs (See Figures 1 and 2) showed a severely gas-distended intestinal segment in the cranial to middle abdomen; other loops of bowel were mildly distended. The colon was not identified in its normal location. Intestinal obstruction from intestinal torsion, possible foreign body, or intussusception was suspected.
Severe fluid- and gas-distended intestines were identified on ultrasound, but a cause of obstruction was not identified. The patient was treated with crystalloid fluid therapy and exploratory laparotomy was performed. The colon, from the level of the ileocolic junction to the pelvic inlet, was severely distended and rotated approximately 90°. Partial torsion of the colon was diagnosed; the cause was undetermined.
The affected bowel remained distended and had diminished tone. Vascular supply to the segment had not been permanently damaged; thus, resection and anastomosis were not pursued.