Emergency Tracheotomy Saves Camp Horse’s Life

A horse at Camp Kitaki in Louisville, NE, was saved by the quick action of a camp employee earlier this week. Moo, who is used on trail rides at the camp, was battling a case of strangles, a contagious upper respiratory infection that can cause airway obstruction.

Though he was on the road to recovery, the gelding had suffered a setback and was not feeling well. While camp workers were loading him into the trailer to take him to the veterinarian’s office about 30 minutes away, Associate Executive Director Natalie Roberts-Day noticed that something was very wrong: The horse could not get any air into his lungs.

Roberts-Day called the vet’s office and told them of her issue. Dr. Dana Dolch of Hillcrest Animal Care explained to Roberts-Day that the best option would be to do an emergency tracheotomy. Roberts-Day radioed other staff members for tranquilizer and a sharp knife, and with Dolch on FaceTime, used the pocketknife, a milk jug and some duct tape to perform the surgery. About 25 minutes later, Moo finally took a breath.

Roberts-Day remained calm throughout the surgery and Moo got up as soon as he could breathe; he was taken to the clinic for further care. The gelding is expected to recover well and be taking campers back out on the trails by the end of the summer.

Read more at 1011now.

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