Complications of nasogastric intubation in horses: nine cases (1987-1989)

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1992 Aug 1;201(3):483-6.


Pharyngeal or esophageal trauma was diagnosed in 9 horses after nasogastric intubation. Evidence of trauma (edema or ulceration) was detected in the pharynx of 3 horses and in the esophagus of 6 horses. Complications associated with nasogastric intubation were first observed in 5 horses while they were intubated and in 4 horses after extubation. Clinical signs of pharyngeal or esophageal trauma were similar, and included salivation, bruxism, coughing, and nasal discharge. Treatment, including extubation, enteral feeding through a small nasogastric tube, or esophagostomy distal to the affected site, was attempted in 6 horses. Three of 6 treated horses survived, but 4 of 5 horses with perforated esophagus were euthanatized.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enteral Nutrition / veterinary
  • Esophagoscopy / veterinary
  • Esophagostomy / veterinary
  • Esophagus / injuries*
  • Horses / injuries*
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / adverse effects*
  • Pharynx / injuries*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy
  • Wounds and Injuries / veterinary