Risks of sedating horses

Most involve some sort of pre-medication (sedation), intravenous (IV) induction drugs, and an inhaled (gas) maintenance drug.At our clinic, we induce the horse in an enclosed, padded stall wherein we place the sedated horse standing up against the back wall.

There are a number of anesthetic protocols for horses, and new protocols are being studied every day.

IS MY HORSE TOO OLD TO GO UNDER GENERAL ANESTHESIA? Age is not a disease in itself, and not all older horses are created equal.

Typically we think of a horse over 20 years as approaching “geriatric,” but there are 17-yearold horses that may have more risk factors for complications than some 27-year-olds.

Feb 2014 Six Questions and Answers About General Anesthesia in Horses Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of our clients like the thought of putting their horse under general anesthesia. To share my experiences with you, I put together this list of questions that we are frequently asked when owners are faced with anesthetizing their horse.

Before I went to vet school, I was a firm believer that because of their size and temperament, horses just weren’t meant to be anesthetized. (Take a somewhat flighty 500 kilogram animal, knock it out, and hope it wakes up in one piece…) Only after anesthetizing literally tons of horses since then, I have come to appreciate equine anesthesia as a remarkably controlled, safe, and intricate veterinary art.

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