Assisted Recovery Prevents Postoperative Catastrophic Events

Using a rope system to assist horses as they recover from anesthesia postoperatively, is a "valuable and safe way of controlling recovery," reported Hans Wilderjans DVM, Dipl. ECVS, from the Equine Hospital De Bosdreef in Belgium, during the 10th International Congress of World Equine Veterinary Association.

According to Wilderjans, few hospitals have the money, personnel, or time to devote to maintaining and expertly utilizing a pool recovery system; however, an indoor assisted recovery rope system can easily and economically be installed in any recovery stall. In addition, Wilderjans' system requires only one handler.

Wilderjans emphasizes that assisted recovery in high-risk cases necessitates an experienced handler and recommends not "trying" this technique on fracture cases, but instead to practice on routine recoveries first.

To date, this device has been used to assist the recovery of more than 7,000 horses at the Equine Hospital De Bosdreef, including 58 fracture repairs. Four horses required euthanasia following recovery due to either implant failures or long bone fracture.

Wilderjans' WEVA abstract, which provides detailed instructions on the assembly and use of the one man rope recovery system, is now available on the International Veterinary Information Service.  

About the Author

Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she's worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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