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Pre-operative and anaesthesia-related risk factors for mortality in equine colic cases

Pre-operative and anaesthesia-related risk factors for mortality in equine colic cases

Veterinary Journal 171(1): 89-97

ISSN/ISBN: 1090-0233

PMID: 16427585

DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2004.09.005

Mortality rates for horses that have undergone emergency abdominal surgery are higher than for other procedures. Here, multivariable modelling of data from 774 surgical colic cases is used to identify pre-operative and anaesthesia-related variables associated with intra- and post-operative mortality. Intra-operative mortality was significantly (P<0.05), and positively associated with heart rate and packed cell volume (PCV) at admission, and negatively associated with the severity of pain. Post-operative mortality increased with increasing age and PCV at admission. Draught horses, Thoroughbreds and Thoroughbred-cross horses carried a significantly worse prognosis. We detected a small but significant variability in the risk of intra-operative death amongst referring veterinary surgeons. Different anaesthetic induction agents, inhalation maintenance agents and the use, or not, of intermittent positive pressure ventilation had no significant effect on risk of death. We conclude that cardiovascular compromise, level of pain, age, and breed are all associated with the risk of mortality in equine surgical colic cases.

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Accession: 004462293

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