Our hospital is home to an experienced Registered Specialist in Equine Surgery. We have a number of veterinarians with extensive experience in anaesthesia, and a great nursing team to ensure everything runs smoothly.
We perform a large number of surgeries every year at Cambridge Equine Hospital, some of the more commonly performed procedures are described below.
Arthroscopic surgery involves diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic problems within joints and other synovial structures such as tendon sheaths. Small “keyhole” incisions are made, through which a
small video camera and very fine equipment is able to be introduced through narrow portals. The technique causes minimal disruption and scarring of the joint and allows a more rapid recovery time than does other surgical techniques. Common joint conditions treated by this method are small intra-articular “chips” and developmental OCD lesions.
Some internal problems can be investigated and treated through “keyhole” surgery using a small laparoscope pushed through the wall of the abdomen. Surgical instruments can then be inserted into the abdominal space through other sites to carry out a required surgical procedure. This technique can be used to treat such things as retained testicles (cryptorchid), ovarian, and uterine problems, and can often be performed in the standing horse.
While 90% of colics seen in the field respond to medical management, surgical intervention is required in a number of cases. Rapid diagnosis and referral are essential for a favourable outcome, and even an hour can have a significant effect on the viability of damaged intestines. With prompt treatment, the survival of surgical colics is generally 80-90% (depending on the structures affected). Conditions requiring surgery include small intestine strangulation and entrapment, intussusception, large colon displacment, and caecal torsion.
Common “wind” afflictions in the horse include laryngeal hemiplegia (“roaring”), soft palate displacement, and epiglottic entrapment. A recent advancement is the use of a laser for treatment of some throat conditions (such as arytenoid granulomas and axial deviation of the aryepiglottic folds).
One of the most common procedures performed at Cambridge Equine Hospital is arthroscopic removal of bony fragments from joints. These are often a source of lameness in performance horses, and removal results in a reduction of inflammation and irritation within the joint. Removal of OCD lesions in weanlings prior to sales is also commonly performed. Other types of orthopaedic surgeries available include fracture repairs, sequestrum removal, correction of flexural and angular limb deformities in foals, and treatment of septic joints and tendon sheaths.
There are a wide range of reproductive surgical procedures performed at Cambridge Equine Hospital. These range from castrations and vasectomies in males, to caesarians and rectovaginal repairs in mares. With a wealth of knowledge and experience in equine reproduction, our veterinarians can cater for most requirements in this field.
Numerous conditions from serious traumatic injuries to minor skin tumours may require surgical intervention. Depending on the severity or site of the condition, the procedure may be able to be performed standing or may require a general anaesthetic.
Cambridge Equine Hospital has the facilities, equipment, and skilled veterinarians available to cater for all general surgery scenarios.