In order to assess postoperative outcome in horses undergoing end-to-end anastomosis of the small intestine, performed using a one-layer technique, 15 horses that underwent exploratory coeliotomy, resection of the small intestine and end-to-end anastomosis using a continuous Lembert pattern were studied. Information on the age, breed, sex, diagnosis, treatment, complications and outcome of each case were obtained from medical records. Follow-up information was obtained via telephone conversations with clients and trainers. Five of the horses had short-term postoperative complications: one had postoperative ileus (POI), colic and peritonitis, one had POI and colic, two had POI only and one had diarrhoea only. A second exploratory coeliotomy was recommended in two of the 15 horses (13 per cent). The short-term survival rate, defined as survival up to the time of discharge from the hospital, was 93.3 per cent (14 of 15 horses). The long-term survival rate, defined as survival for at least 12 months after the surgery, was 84.6 per cent (11 of 13 horses followed up).