Dressage Glock's Zonik dies unexpectedly

scats

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I had a very flighty welsh x Tb and he had two GAs. He was the model patient in recovery and would sit up, look around calmly and then get to his feet. I was amazed, given his temperament.
That same horse sent a tray of equipment and a load of students flying across a room once!
 

PurBee

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I didn't realise the stats of death from panic from GA were so high.

shocking really. Poor creatures …so highly reactive in extreme situations that all they want to do is run from it!

The alternatives are quite extensive - a mini paddock that they wake up in and have room to thrash around in…or is the thrashing panic breaking limbs not due to hitting recovery room walls?

I know it sounds extreme, but it is an extreme situation for a horse anyway if the chance of panic and injury is so high - wouldn’t some sort of restraint system work? They would wake up and panic and not be able to move, panic more, but like the old cowboy breaking in techniques, they figure out they have to submit to the whole body bondage.
They would be groggy from the GA anyway - probably that feeling alone of being nauseous/sick is the cause of panic. Try to run from it and temporary memory loss as to where they are?

That kind of restraint system doubled with a low sedation? Then horse less likely to panic when it wakes up in restraint?

I would agree to my horse being shackled down until it came to from GA properly if the other option is freedom in a box but high chance of panic injury causing death.
 

quizzie

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The damage is normally due to sudden “loading” of one or more limbs as they try to stand up when not fully coordinated. The easiest way to break a bone in any species is to load it under torsion.

Restraints would have to be so strong that they could in themselves cause damage…there is no way of attaching them that would be safe, horses muscles are incredibly strong….what sometimes happens is that one or more ropes are attached , with very experienced people on them, who try to counteract the “stagger” as they get up…but that is potentially very dangerous to the people with half a ton or more of uncoordinated horse.

The problem with additional sedation, is that not only would the effects be unpredictable, but they could make the uncoordination worse.

Essentially horses tend to go from semi comatose to wanting to be on their feet and gone in seconds. Many combinations of drugs and physical assistance have been tried over the years, but there is no fail safe method.
 

PurBee

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The damage is normally due to sudden “loading” of one or more limbs as they try to stand up when not fully coordinated. The easiest way to break a bone in any species is to load it under torsion.

Restraints would have to be so strong that they could in themselves cause damage…there is no way of attaching them that would be safe, horses muscles are incredibly strong….what sometimes happens is that one or more ropes are attached , with very experienced people on them, who try to counteract the “stagger” as they get up…but that is potentially very dangerous to the people with half a ton or more of uncoordinated horse.

The problem with additional sedation, is that not only would the effects be unpredictable, but they could make the uncoordination worse.

Essentially horses tend to go from semi comatose to wanting to be on their feet and gone in seconds. Many combinations of drugs and physical assistance have been tried over the years, but there is no fail safe method.
Thank you for the clarifying info - its really a difficult situation isnt it?

What about padded stocks? The type similar that cows and llama’s are put in to get their feet trimmed? But a vastly more supportive ‘horse shaped’ padded holding cage? It sounds horrid i know….but, as you say, its their panic-strength that is hard to restrain without the restraint hurting them.

I’m visualising something akin to to wine bottle polystyrene packaging, thats wine bottle shaped and holds it in place during transit!

I do find the stats troubling.

As mentioned upthread - a pool sounds like the best option….but waking up in water would cause its own panic i guess.
 

milliepops

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Thank you for the clarifying info - its really a difficult situation isnt it?

What about padded stocks? The type similar that cows and llama’s are put in to get their feet trimmed? But a vastly more supportive ‘horse shaped’ padded holding cage? It sounds horrid i know….but, as you say, its their panic-strength that is hard to restrain without the restraint hurting them.

I’m visualising something akin to to wine bottle polystyrene packaging, thats wine bottle shaped and holds it in place during transit!
problem is the wine isn't freaking out and trying to get out of its packaging ;)

it must be a fairly nerve wracking time for vets too. seeing your patient at risk of doing themselves in shortly after you've done all you can to repair them.
 

Michen

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I lost a horse in Recovery for colic surgery. He’d been kicked in the leg some time before and despite clean x rays there must have been a fracture that wasn’t showing. Anyway it completed on recovery and having seen the x rays post death (I discovered them accidentally logging into the portal my vets use for client info sharing) it left me very shaken about GAs despite there being an obvious cause.

the practice had done nearly 300 surgeries that year and his was the only post op fatality. They use a rope system.

pools do seem an obvious solution to this problem but maybe there’s other risks with that.

when I thought Bog may need surgery for his injury I was distraught tbh, I don’t think I could have risked him under a GA as he could have been comfortably retired instead. Life or death only for me, I think..
 

Orangehorse

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How terribly sad.

The recovery rooms are well padded, but the horse has to be able to get a grip with its feet to try to stand and there are helpers on hand with ropes to try to keep them steady.

The pool idea sounds good - but is there a risk of infection to operation wounds?
 

ycbm

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Here's New Bolton's pool system. Apparently one of the few (only?) in the world. Still looks quite scary.

That isn't what I expected to see. I thought the sensible option would have been to slowly drain the pool, not hoist the horse out of it, which is enough to make many horses panic. I wonder why they don't.
.
 

druid

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Not economically viable - you need to be able to recover multiple horses in the pool daily. For many of the big refferal clinics 20+ GAs a day isn't unuauly (majority electives/planned). I think my highest is running anaesthesia for 12 cases in a day.
 

ycbm

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OK, so here's a challenge for the designers of the next version.

In Switzerland I used to swim a pool where the floor was raised or lowered for the activity which was taking place in it. If the pool is set into the floor, the bottom of the pool can be raised slowly to ground level and the horse can be walked off still in the harness, the floor dropped again and next horse popped into it.

I'd personally pay a couple of hundred extra to have a horse that needed a GA recovered in that kind of facility.
.
 

J&S

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My step daughter is a vet and did her equine training at Leahurst. She had first hand experience of a leg breaking on recovery from G.A. We have decided not to put our horses/ponies through operations needing G.A.
 

ycbm

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My step daughter is a vet and did her equine training at Leahurst. She had first hand experience of a leg breaking on recovery from G.A. We have decided not to put our horses/ponies through operations needing G.A.
It's a tough one, and I rule out most operations that require a GA, but I had a tieback done on a horse and it completely changed his life, so I would do that again. It is less than 1 in 100, but I didn't breath properly until they told me he was back on his feet. He gave them some trouble, too. "A feisty one" was their description.
 

milliepops

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My horse that went for GA was not field sound at the time and had no prospect of improvement without surgery, so it was attempt the op or PTS really. As i had the insurance funds available I went for it and I'm glad I did as she's still happy and creating mischief several years later. I think it's a really personal decision, for me I just placed my trust in my vets, who I know are really excellent, and hoped for the best.
 

greenbean10

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I'm glad I wasn't reading this thread 8 weeks ago when my horse was operated on under GA! Very sad and scary. Thankfully me and the horse had a good experience and all is well now.
 
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