Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Anesthesia: recovery - overview

Contributor(s): Dennis R Gieser, Craig Johnson, G Mark Johnston, Vetstream Ltd

Introduction


The first response of an adult horse when recovering from being anesthestized is to try and stand up

Oxygen supplementation

  • During the recovery period this may be of some value, especially in patients with nasal edema and partial upper airway obstruction.
  • A nasotracheal tube may be used to administer oxygen; it can be taped in place for the period of recovery.
  • Minimum oxygen flow = 15 l/min.

Recovery from anesthesia

  • Can take 20-60 min and can involve some violence if the animal tries to stand while it is still severely ataxic.
  • The nature of recovery varies according to the drugs administered, the duration of anesthesia and the temperament of the horse.
  • Provide a surface with a good grip for hooves. It should be soft enough not to injure the horse should it fall, and easy to clean or hose down.
  • Positioning of the horse is important, especially if recovery will be unattended. There should be sufficient space in front of the horse for it to move forward as it gets up.

Recovery room

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Management of recovery

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Complications during recovery

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers
  • Recent references fromPubMed andVetMedResource.
  • Farmer E et al(2014)Factors affecting the perception of recovery quality in horses after anesthesia. Equine Vet J46(3), 328-332PubMed.
  • Auckburally A & Flaherty D (2009)Recovery from anaesthesia in horses. 2. Avoiding complications. In Pract31(8), 362-369.
  • Auckburally A & Flaherty D (2009)Recovery from anaesthesia in horses. 1. What can go wrong? In Pract31(7), 340-347.
  • Clutton R E (2008)Device for unobtrusive drug administration and blood sampling in horses recovering from anaesthesia. Vet Rec163(10), 303-304PubMed.
  • Hubbell J A E & Muir W W (2004)Use of the alpha-2 agonists xylazine and detomidine in the perianaesthetic period in the horse. Equine Vet Educ16(6), 326-332.
  • Hubbell J A E (1999)Recovery from anesthesia in horses. Equine Vet Educ11(3), 160-167.
  • Eicker S W & Cuvelliez S (1990)Equipment for inhalation anesthesia.  Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 6(3), 551-552PubMed.
  • Klein L (1990)Anesthetic complications in the horse.  Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 6(3), 686-688PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Pascoe P J (1990)Induction and Recovery techniques. In: Current Practice of Equine Surgery. Eds: White N A & Moore J N. J B Lippincott Co, Philadelphia. pp 64-69.
  • Hall L W & Clarke K W (1983)Veterinary Anesthesia. 8th edn. Bailliere Tindall, London.


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