Anthony T. Blikslager, DVM, PhD, DACVS, is assistant professor of equine surgery at North Carolina State University, where he also has a federally-funded research program in the role of COX inhibitors in equine colic, and has recently become interested in the use of COX-2 inhibitors for treatment of lameness.
Impaction of the ileum is an uncommon cause of colic in horses in most parts of the country, but is becoming increasingly recognized as an important cause of intestinal obstruction in the southeastern United States.
Treatment of painful conditions in horses has relied largely on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for much of the last 25 years. For example, flunixin meglumine (Banamine®) and phenylbutazone (Butazolidin®) have dominated the market for treatment of colic and lameness respectively. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that these drugs also have some side effects, most notably gastrointestinal ulceration.