We present a novel, fully-automated gastrointestinal spike burst detection algorithm. Following pre-processing with SALPA (Wagenaar and Potter, J. Neurosci. Methods 120:113-120, 2002) and a Savitzky-Golay filter to remove unwanted low and high frequency components, candidate spike waveforms are detected utilizing the non-linear energy operator. Candidate waveforms are classified as spikes or artifact by a support vector machine. The new method achieves highly satisfactory performance with >90% sensitivity and positive prediction value. We also demonstrate an application of the new method to detect changes in spike rate and spatial propagation patterns upon induction of mesenteric ischemia in the small intestine. Spike rates were observed to transiently increase 10-20 fold for a duration of ≈600 s, relative to baseline conditions. In ischemic conditions, spike activity propagation patterns included retrograde-longitudinal wavefronts with occasional spontaneous conduction blocks, as well as self-terminating concentric-circumferential wavefronts. Longitudinal and circumferential velocities were 6.8-8.0 cm/s and 18.7 cm/s, respectively.