Surgical Facilities & Care
Towcester Equine Vets have a specifically designed theatre with a state-of-the-art operating table to ensure optimal positioning of your horse during surgical procedures. We also have an arthroscopy tower to enable visualisation inside joints for both diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic pathology.
Purpose-built surgical facilities and recovery boxes have been created at our Paulerspury clinic in order to ensure that safest possible surgical environment is catered for. We also have a selection of inpatient stables and padded stocks, plus a large treatment room and x-ray room to ensure that we can complete any necessary diagnostics before surgery.
Our team understand what a daunting prospect horse surgery can be. Our equine vets will help you understand the procedure and answer any questions you may have beforehand during a pre-surgery appointment – learn more about this, and visiting your horse on our horse surgery page.
Our surgical equipment
We continue to invest in our equine surgical facilities and equipment to ensure we can provide the very best care to your horse. Some of the tools we use are listed below, as are the procedures we use them for. Please talk to one of our vets if you would like to find out more about a surgical procedure. Horses requiring colic surgery are sent to a referral level hospital for exploratory laparotomies.
This technique is used in minimally invasive surgery to examine joints (arthroscopy), tendon sheaths (tenoscopy) and bursae (bursoscopy). The technique is used as both a diagnostic aid, enabling visualisation of the inside of a joint and in the treatment of joint disease, such as joint infections and the removal of bone chips in osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD). Our arthroscopic camera can be used in a variety of cases. Learn more about endoscopy.
This technique allows the surgeon to visualise the abdominal cavity in the standing horse, thereby eliminating the risks that a general anaesthetic surgery carries. Procedures using laparoscopy include abdominal rig castration, ovariectomy and intestinal biopsy.
We can complete resection of impinging dorsal spinous processes of the lumbar vertebrae in the back (commonly known as ‘kissing spines’) carried out as a standing surgical procedure. Following diagnosis, our vets will be able to talk you through the different medical and surgical options available for horses who have ‘kissing spines’ including bone resection and transection of the interspinous ligament.
Laser sarcoid surgery
We can also offer laser removal of skin tumours including sarcoids and melanomas. Whilst we endeavour to carry out these procedures as standing surgeries, we have the facilities to undertake general anaesthesia for access to more complex lesions. Learn more.
General anaesthesia vs standing sedation
If your horse needs to undergo surgery, our vets will be able to advise on whether it can be performed under standing sedation and local anaesthetic in our stocks or whether a general anaesthetic is required. Due to the size and nature of horses, a general anaesthetic does carry more risks, however we have an experienced team of anaesthetists and modern theatre equipment to minimise these risks as much as possible. We also have 2 padded induction boxes, constant monitoring equipment and a rope assisted recovery system. Where possible, standing sedation is used over a general anaesthetic but this is dictated by surgical procedure and your vet will be able to advise you on what is best for your horse.
Following horse surgery, a dedicated team will monitor and care for your horse until they are ready to return home. This includes monitoring vital parameters to make sure any post-operative complications are identified and managed swiftly. The team make every effort to ensure gut motility is restored to normal following surgery to reduce any risk of colic; this is achieved with an evidence-based post-operative feeding regime and the administration of intravenous and oral fluids to keep your horse hydrated where required.
When your horse is ready to return home, a discharge appointment will be booked with the treating vet. A written surgical report and detailed discharge instructions for ongoing management are provided to advise you regarding home care. Future appointments can also be discussed at this time and whether additional professional help is required, including physiotherapy or remedial farriery.
To discuss a surgical procedure with a member of our veterinary team, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01327 811007.