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Service Information

Surgical services

Towcester Equine Vets houses a purpose-built operating theatre, padded stocks and several hospitalisation stables.

We offer a wide range of surgical services under both standing sedation and general anaesthesia.

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Op theatre surgery

PREPARING FOR SURGERY

We understand the decision to proceed with surgical treatment for your horse can be daunting.  If you have any concerns or questions, please speak to Alice Sheldon, surgeon and Clinical Director of Towcester Equine Vets.

You will be given a specific admission appointment to discuss your horse’s normal stable routine with a nurse, and any further clinical details with the surgeon or anaesthetist.

SURGICAL PROCEDURES

All our vets are experienced in routine surgical procedures such as castration and wound repair.  Alice Sheldon performs the orthopaedic and laparoscopic surgery.  Visiting surgical diplomates assist with advanced techniques allowing us to provide a comprehensive service for your horse.

ENDOSCOPY

This keyhole technique allows minimally invasive examination of joints (arthroscopy), tendon sheaths (tenoscopy) and bursae (bursoscopy).  It plays a major role in the diagnosis and treatment of many orthopaedic conditions.

Endoscopy is widely recognised as the treatment of choice for joint conditions such as sepsis and osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) and is pivotal in the management of intra-synovial soft tissue injuries such as deep digital flexor tendonitis within the digital tendon sheath.

Op theatre 2
flushing fetlock
Stifle arthroscopy
Areal Op theatre in use
laparoscopy

LAPAROSCOPY

The ability to examine the abdominal cavity in the standing horse is a major advancement in equine surgery.  Not only are the GA risks avoided but control of surgical bleeding is aided by improved visualisation and advanced haemostatic equipment.

Common laparoscopic procedures include abdominal rig castration, ovariectomy and intestinal biopsy.

BACK SURGERY

Impingment of the dorsal spinous processes (“Kissing Spines”) is a common cause of poor performance in sports horses. Following accurate diagnosis it can be successfully managed surgically by either strategic bone resection or transection of the interspinous ligament. Both procedures are performed under standing sedation.

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dorsal spinous ligament resection
monitoring anaesthesia.
monitoring anaesthsia

GENERAL ANAESTHESIA

Due to their size and flight instinct horses have an increased mortality risk under GA compared to other species. Our experienced anaesthetists and modern theatre allow us to minimise these.

We have 2 padded induction boxes, constant monitoring equipment and a rope assisted recovery system.

STANDING SEDATION

Many procedures can be performed in the standing horse using a constant intravenous sedation drip and regional local anaesthetic at the surgical site.  This avoids the risk of GA.

Preparation for standing surgery
Nurse ausculating heart

POST-OPERATIVE MANAGEMENT

A dedicated veterinary team will be responsible for the care of your horse after surgery.

Vital parameters are monitored closely to ensure prompt identification of post-operative complications such as impaction colic and surgical site infections.  Every effort is made to ensure gut motility is restored to normal. Intravenous and/or oral fluids may be used to aid this and help maintain hydration status.

A surgical report and detailed instructions for ongoing management will be given at the time of discharge.

Monitoring inpatients