Intussusception 1One of the hardest words to spell, and also very tricky to treat.

It involves one length of intestine going inside another, rather like the closing of a telescope.  It results in bowel obstruction, death of bowel, rapid deterioration and ultimately death if not caught early.


It is more common in young animals, and is a significant risk in puppies or kittens with ongoing diarrhoea problems.  Diagnosis is made by palpating the thickened length of bowel in a very sick young animal, and can be confirmed with ultrasound examination.


Treatment involves stabilising a critical patient, then surgery to slide out the inverted segment of bowel, or frequently to remove a length of bowel.


A technique called enteroplication can then be performed to prevent this condition happening again.


The picture shows a segment of intestine affected by intussusception prior to removal of the length of bowel.  The patient made a full recovery.