Island Life Magazine Ltd October/November 2011 - Page 88

EQUESTRIAN equine veterinary diary Kate Manners BVM&S MRCVS of Liphook Equine, IOW Equine Veterinary services for the 21st century The life of a veterinary surgeon in the 40’s and 50’s was beautifully and hilariously described in the well known “James Herriot” books. However the veterinary profession has progressed a long way in the last 60 years and the traditional view of a country vet treating a vast range of animals from the boot of his car is now a romantic, whimsical view of days gone by! As in human medicine our scope of what is possible and therefore expected has increased vastly and veterinary surgeons and veterinary hospitals have become more specialised and more advanced. Surgeries and diagnostic techniques, which were once the preserve of expensive racehorses, are now available to all equines from the smallest miniature donkey to the heaviest Shire horse. The Liphook Equine Hospital was one of the first in the UK to be registered by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (R.C.V.S) as an equine hospital. In the last two years it has undergone major expansion and when finished will be one of the leading equine hospitals in Europe. Being only 30 miles from the Island this facility is one which should bring much peace of mind to anyone owning a horse, pony or donkey on the Isle of Wight. In this issue we explain some of the more specialised techniques that are available at the hospital and discuss how they could benefit your horse. Surgical facilities and In-Patient Care Last year the hospital performed over 430 surgeries on cases from within the practice or referred by other equine practices in the UK. Surgical techniques are advancing and many operations can now be performed in the standing, sedated horse using specialised equipment and laparoscopic techniques. This excludes the need for a general anaesthetic, and therefore lowers the risk to your horse, and in many instances can shorten the recovery time post operatively. Only certain surgeries are possible in this manner but examples of surgeries routinely performed this way include removal of ovaries, removal of testes that have not descended correctly into the scrotum and also the taking of biopsy samples from the small intestine. Many surgeries still require a full general anaesthetic which poses a particular challenge in horses due to their size. Horses are anaesthetised in a special padded room and then winched into the operating theatre for surgery. They are placed back in the padded room to regain consciousness where assistance can be provided in the form of slings and ropes if required. The hospital has stabling for over 50 in-patients and has a dedicated intensive care unit as well as a separate isolation unit for patients who may Liphook Equine Dodnor Farm, Newport PO30 5TE TEL: 01983 533799 (or 01428 727727 out of hours) EMAIL: 88