Pneumocolonography (infusion of air into the rectum) is a simple, rapid, low morbidity test that can be done in cases of suspected colonic torsion in dogs. Many cases will show an abrupt tapering of the large bowel but it may be of minimal diagnostic value in mild cases
Journal citation

Czajkowski, P.S., Fryer, K.J. (2020)
Colonic torsion in 4 Great Danes
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care; 30 (5) 581-586
Abstract

Published September/October 2020

Type of study
  • Case series
  • n = 4 dogs
Key points
  • Colonic torsion is infrequently reported in small animals
  • Rapid identification and surgical intervention is essential to prevent significant ischaemic injuries
  • Great Danes are potentially at risk for colonic torsion
  • It is thought that an underlying GI motility disorder may exist as a predisposing factor
  • Clinical signs are non-specific and include anorexia, lethargy, tenesmus, acute abdominal pain, vomiting, haematochezia and diarrhoea
  • Standard abdominal x-rays may reveal generalised gas distension of the small and large intestines making it difficult to distinguish colonic torsion (which has a reasonable prognosis) from generalised ileus or from small bowel volvulus (which has a poor to grave prognosis)
  • Pneumocolonography was shown to be useful in the detection of colonic torsion
  • Many cases will show an abrupt tapering of the large bowel but it may be of minimal diagnostic value in mild cases

Limitations

  • Small number of cases
Conclusions
  • Pneumocolonography is a simple, rapid, low morbidity test that can be performed in cases of suspected colonic torsion and may help to differentiate this condition from generalised ileus or small intestinal volvulus