Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Gastrointestinal: anesthesia

Contributor(s): Keith Branson, Craig Johnson, G Mark Johnston, Mark Senior, Vetstream Ltd

Introduction

  • Elective surgical procedures of the alimentary system in the horse include correction of esophageal strictures   Esophagus: stricture  and diverticule .
  • Some surgical procedures of the alimentary tract can be carried out in the standing, sedated animal, eg repair of a rectal tear   Rectum: trauma - management and repair  or removal of a rectal polyp.
  • Surgical approaches to the alimentary system will depend on the nature of the problem and the area to be operated on.
  • The ventral midline approach is frequently used both for surgery of the abdomen and of the esophagus. In these cases, the patient is in dorsal recumbency, resulting in the increased risk of hypotension   Anesthesia: monitoring - cardiac output and blood pressure  developing, especially in very fit horses.
  • Surgery of the alimentary tract is frequently in the nature of an emergency, eg in colic surgery, esophageal obstruction   Esophagus: impaction  , etc.
  • The patient may already have a degree of cardiopulmonary compromise in these cases.
  • Obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract results in an imbalance of fluid and electrolyte homeostasis with depletion of the extracellular fluid. Large volumes of fluid may be lost into the gut lumen from the extracellular fluid and the circulation, leading to rapid dehydration and cardiovascular collapse.
  • Anesthesia for emergency abdominal situations, eg colic, will be diskussed here, as anesthetic procedures for elective surgery are as described elsewhere   Anesthesia: general - overview  .

Pre-anesthetic management

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Induction of anesthesia

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Maintenance of anesthesia

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Recovery from anesthesia

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers
  • Recent references fromPubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Hodgson D S & Dunlop C I (1990)General anesthesia for horses with specific problems.In: The Vet Clin North Am6(3), 625-635.
  • Hall L W & Clarke K W (1983)Veterinary Anesthesia.8th edn. Bailliere Tindall, London, UK.
  • Taylor P M (1992)Anesthesia for Specific Procedures. Lecture notes.


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