How do you wake up a horse safely?
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How do you wake up a horse safely?

August 22, 2019

My mane is Ron Mandsager I’m the program
director for the Anesthesia Division here at the University of Minnesota, College of
Veterinary Medicine. The process of Anesthesia starts with placing an catheter in the jocular
vein in the horse’s neck; then usually the next step is we’ll give a small dose of
a sedative to calm the horse down. We rinse the horse’s mouth out with some water to
remove any food material that they tend to have in there mouth so that we don’t put
that into there air way once they are asleep and then once that process is done we walk
them into the induction stall, put them behind a Pattack gate. Let them calm down and settle
in there and then we give a dose of a couple different drugs, called induction drugs which
are given fairly rapidly intravenously, the horse is then rendered unconscious and slumps
to the ground. At that point we place a endothecia tube into their airway, suppose through the
larynx into the trachea. We use that to administer inhalant anesthesia which keeps the horse
asleep through out the andesitic period. Once the endotrec tube is place then we hoist the
horse with a hoist system place them on a surgery table, attach our various monitoring
devices so we can start assessing the horses condition at that point. And then the surgery
team, let that, while were doing that the surgery team will prepare the horse for surgery,
do any clipping of hair, prepping of the surgical sight. Then we all role into the surgery suite,
perform the procedure, and then role the horse out, disconnect it from our monitors and anesthesia
machine, place in the recovery stall and let the horse wake up. We got a new recovery stall
that is equipped with a walk way that we can look down, over the top of the wall and watch
the horse and be able to hear the horse as they are waking up. You have much better visibility
then we have ever had before and we also have a new recovery flooring system that consists
of an inflatable air pillow that can cushion and protect the horse until they are ready
to stand. Hopefully greatly reduce any injury to the horse during the recovery process.
So as we watch the horse wake up, we are primarily looking at their eyes and watching for twitchiness
in the eyes or what we call nystagmus, where the eyes roll back and forth from one side
to another very quickly. As long as we see that we don’t know the horse is although
sort of awake, it’s probably not going to be able to stand well on there own at that
point, and so we wait until a lot of that is resolved and gone away. Then pull the plug
on the mattress and allow the horse to have a firm foundation to stand upon at that point
in time. We have put a lot of thought into how we have designed this facility so that
the horse can very quickly and easily be moved from the induction process to get him on the
surgery table, wheeled into the surgery suite, perform surgery then wheeled straight out
into the recovery stall, making it easy for us to work on the horse and also make it good
for the horse as they go through the anesthetic process from start to finish.

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  1. Thanks for post! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Is really interesting, complete and carefully made! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Congratulation to the clinic and their new methods in horse surgery… ๐Ÿ™‚
    Congratulations to everyone!
    I've really enjoy it!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. As a prevet student, I find this very interesting post-op procedure…how does the air cushioned flooring prior to wakeup differ from the typical padded stall…is post-anesthesia thrashing markedly less traumatic in this environment?

  3. Ever go through YouTube through the "Suggestions" Box?

    5 Minutes ago I was watching a Chinese Sperm collector…

    Where am I?…

  4. What are those boots the horse is wearing made of? I'm assuming they are for keeping it's hooves from puncturing the balloon bed.

  5. @skybluepainter Thank you for your question. You are correct, the boots are to keep the horse from puncturing the bed. As for the material, I'm not certain.

  6. 2 things, won't picking a horse up by the legs rip a muscle and doesn't lieing on his back stuff up there organs? Please reply. Can be via one of my videos. (I have like 2).


  7. wait? when the horse is asleep. and you pick it up by thhe hoofs/legs… cant it hurt tthe horse or pony? im conserned for the animal

  8. At the U of M Equine Center, we often use head and tail ropes to stabilize the horses that might be weak or tired during recovery. We can actually help the horses stand up using the ropes and, if properly positioned and tied, it does not hurt the horses. We use quick release knots in case we do need to let them loose. Horses can get tangled up so we don't tie the ropes to any object but hold them ourselves so that we can let go quickly if needed.

  9. i was like why are you putting him down! then I was like oh never mind there good people


  10. I don't know why but I love watching equine surgeries. I have a horse of my own and I soon want to become a equine vet tech. Not sure yet if I want to become a full vet.

  11. Thank you! I plan to use the video to teach my agriculture students the danger of working with horses and risks with injury during anesthesia.

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