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Use of a Hydro-Pool System to Recover Horses after General Anesthesia: 60 Cases

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To report complications observed using a hydro-pool recovery system after general anesthesia in horses. Study design

Retrospective study. Animals

Sixty horses. Methods

Retrospective review of the medical records and quality of recovery from anesthesia of 60 horses that had surgical or diagnostic procedures under general anesthesia. Results

Mean total anesthesia time was 182 minutes (range, 25 to 390 minutes). Mean time in the hydro-pool was 108 minutes (range, 20 to 270 minutes). One horse that had bilateral rear limb extensor weakness while recovering in a padded recovery stall was moved to the hydro-pool and maintained for 12 hours. Ten horses developed some pulmonary edema; in 3 horses, the signs of pulmonary edema were severe; and 1 horse died from related complications. One horse developed septic arthritis of an operated stifle joint, and 2 horses developed incisional infections. Two horses incurred multiple skin abrasions on the distal aspect of their limbs during violent attempts to leave the pool. Conclusions

A hydro-pool system was useful for recovering horses from general anesthesia when difficult recoveries were anticipated because of the horse's injury, size, demeanor, duration of anesthesia, or risk of further injury. Recovery using the hydro-pool was more time and labor intensive than a standard stall recovery. Pulmonary edema that required treatment was a serious complication that occurred in 17% of the horses. Careful closure of the skin with cyanoacrylate glue and pressure from bandages were used to prevent postoperative incisional infections. Clinical relevance

A hydro-pool system is a useful method for recovering horses from general anesthesia when difficult recoveries are anticipated.

©Copyright 2002 by The American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.

Publication date: 2002-09-01

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