My Horse Needs Surgery
We have an operating theatre at Brown Egg Farm. This enables the practice to provide a wide range of surgical procedures from arthroscopy (key-hole surgery of joints) to delicate eye surgery.
Anaesthetised horses present unique challenges due to their weight, size and fractious nature. Following careful clinical assessment and injection of drugs to induce anaesthesia, the patient is winched from the padded ‘knock-down’ box on to the surgical table. This is anatomically designed to support the horse, protecting the head, neck and spine and minimising pressure on vital muscles. A large tube is inserted via the mouth through the larynx to gases that maintain the anaesthesia.
All anaesthetised horses are constantly monitored by an experienced veterinary anaesthetist, who records the heart rate and rhythm, the respiratory rate, and level of anaesthesia. Blood pressure is also continuously measured and appropriate medication given should it fall during the surgery. The patients also receive intravenous fluids throughout to prevent dehydration.
It is unfortunate that, despite such intensive monitoring and care, complications can occur. These range from mild muscle damage, caused by the horse’s own weight pressing on its ‘downside’ muscles, through to a horse that injures his spine or fractures a leg when recovering from the anaesthetic. Complications are very rare less than 0.5%.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.