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Objective—To determine the cardiovascular and respiratory effects of water immersion in horses recovering from general anesthesia.

Animals—6 healthy adult horses.

Procedure—Horses were anesthetized 3 times with halothane and recovered from anesthesia while positioned in lateral or sternal recumbency in a padded recovery stall or while immersed in a hydropool. Cardiovascular and pulmonary functions were monitored before and during anesthesia and during recovery until horses were standing. Measurements and calculated variables included carotid and pulmonary arterial blood pressures (ABP and PAP, respectively), cardiac output, heart and respiratory rates, arterial and mixed venous blood gases, minute ventilation, end expiratory transpulmonary pressure (PendXes), maximal change in transpulmonary pressure (ΔPtpmax), total pulmonary resistance (RL), dynamic compliance (Cdyn), and work of breathing ().

Results—Immersion in water during recovery from general anesthesia resulted in values of ABP, PAP, PendXes, ΔPtpmax, RL, and that were significantly greater and values of Cdyn that were significantly less, compared with values obtained during recovery in a padded stall. Mode of recovery had no significant effect on any other measured or calculated variable.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Differences in pulmonary and cardiovascular function between horses during recovery from anesthesia while immersed in water and in a padded recovery stall were attributed to the increased effort needed to overcome the extrathoracic hydrostatic effects of immersion. The combined effect of increased extrathoracic pressure and PAP may contribute to an increased incidence of pulmonary edema in horses during anesthetic recovery in a hydropool. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1903–1910)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—–To compare transfixation and standard full-limb casts for prevention of in vitro displacement of a mid-diaphyseal third metacarpal osteotomy site in horses.

Sample Population—6 forelimbs from 6 horses euthanatized for reasons not related to the musculoskeletal system.

Procedure—A 30° osteotomy was performed in the mid-diaphysis of the third metacarpal bone. Two 4.5-mm cortical bone screws were placed across the osteotomy site to maintain alignment during casting. Two 6.35-mm Steinmann pins were placed from a lateral-to-medial direction in the distal aspect of the radius. A full-limb cast that incorporated the pins was applied. An extensometer was positioned in the osteotomy site through a window placed in the dorsal aspect of the cast, and after removal of the screws, displacement was recorded while the limb was axially loaded to 5,340 N (1,200 lb). Pins were removed, and the standard full-limb cast was tested in a similar fashion.

Results—The transfixation cast significantly reduced displacement across the osteotomy site at 445 N (100 lb), 1,112 N (250 lb), 2,224 N (500 lb), and 4,448 N (1,000 lb), compared with the standard cast.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—A full-limb transfixation cast provides significantly greater resistance than a standard full-limb cast against axial collapse of a mid-diaphyseal third metacarpal osteotomy site when the bone is placed under axial compression. Placement of full-limb transfixation casts should be considered for the management of unstable fractures of the third metacarpal bone in horses. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1633–1635)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research