Volvulus and Intussusception in Elephants:

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Summary Information
Diseases / List of Miscellaneous / Metabolic / Multifactorial Diseases / Disease summary
Alternative Names See also:
Disease Agents --
Infectious Agent(s) --
Non-infectious Agent(s) --
Physical Agent(s) --
General Description Both twisting of the gut (volvulus) and intussusception have been reported in elephants. (B10.49.w21, B451.10.w10)

Clinical signs:

  • Signs of abdominal pain. (B10.49.w21, B212.w30)
  • Absence of faeces. (B10.49.w21)
  • Death, usually within a short time of the first signs. (B10.49.w21, B451.10.w10)

A description of an elephant with intussusception is given in Book Ref. 212 - Elephants and their Diseases - Part IV Chapter XII - B212.w30 - full text included.

Further Information
  • Associated with elephants "falling, rolling or achieving some unusual position prior to demonstrating clinical signs." (B10.49.w21)


  • Volvulus and/or intussusception. (B10.49.w21)
    • One intussusception of the large intestine was about 3 ft long (i.e. about 1 m) and about one foot (30 cm) in diameter. (B212.w30)
  • The walls of the affected area of gut may be considerably enlarged due to oedema. (B212.w30


  • Do not roll elephants. (B10.49.w21)
  • Do not let elephants get into unusual positions, or roll. (B10.49.w21)
Associated Techniques
Host taxa groups /species Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken).

(List does not contain all other species groups affected by this disease)

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