Let Them Eat: Horses Undergoing Non-Abdominal Surgery May Be Better Off Eating

Much like human doctors, veterinarians often recommended that horses slated for surgery fast before undergoing anesthesia. In humans, this reduces the risk of the development of aspiration pneumonia; in horses it was thought to decrease the risk of post-operative colic. However, a study has shown that there may be no need for horses scheduled for non-abdominal surgery to refrain from eating.

A retrospective study over a two-year period used 1,965 horses older than two years old that were referred to the Oakridge Equine Hospital in Edmond, Okla., for non-emergency, non-abdominal procedures. The horses had not fasted prior to their surgeries.

Dr. Patricia Baily and her study team found that only 2.5 percent of the horses that had not been fasted became colicky. They also found no correlation between the age of the horse, the surgery performed or the duration of the anesthesia and colic risk.

The scientists conclude that allowing a horse to eat prior to undergoing general anesthesia for a non-abdominal surgery doesn’t increase his colic risk. In fact, allowing the horse to eat may help him maintain gut motility, reducing the risk of post-operative colic.

Read more at EQUUS.

The post Let Them Eat: Horses Undergoing Non-Abdominal Surgery May Be Better Off Eating appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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