Surgical Services for Horses
Our board-certified equine surgeon in Mount Vernon offers a variety of equine surgeries including arthroscopy, laparoscopy, soft tissue, and reproductive.
Most large animal surgeries are easier to perform on standing, awake patients and are typically to repair lacerations and injuries sustained through trauma.
We practice the most stringent surgical protocols and believe that it is in the patient’s best interest to use a standing procedure whenever possible to limit the risk of complications from anesthesia.
What to Expect With Equine Surgery
We always keep you fully informed about why we are recommending a surgical procedure. the length of recovery, and any post-operative care your horse will need at home.
Surgical Procedures at Northwest Veterinary Clinic of Mount Vernon
We perform medical and emergency surgeries to help treat disease and conditions in horses or to repair injuries sustained through trauma.
Our Mount Vernon vets routinely perform the following elective and non-elective surgeries:
- Soft Tissue Surgery
Soft tissue surgery includes surgery of the abdomen, urogenital tract, respiratory tract, mouth, and skin.
Respiratory operations is the most common soft tissue surgery that we perform. Our vets can assess your horse's condition and offer surgical solutions if it is in the best interest of your horse.
Our board-certified equine vet is available during our clinic hours to carry out corrective surgery and intensive post-operative care which is vital for survival.
- Reproductive Surgery
A full range of reproductive surgical procedures can be carried out either at your farm through our ambulatory services, or for more complex procedures, by our specialist surgeons at our hospital. These include:
Mares: Caesarean section and other reproductive surgical emergencies are available along with the removal of endometrial cysts. Urogenital surgery, including Caslick's operation and other perineal surgery, ovariectomy, removal of granulosa cell tumors, ovarian hematoma, abscess or cysts, repair of uterine torsion, correction of foaling injuries, and removal of bladder stones.
Colts/Stallions: We perform castration and correction of inguinal hernias. We also offer urogenital surgery, including cryptorchid surgery (removal of retained testicle), removal of penile or testicle tumors, amputation of penis, and removal of bladder stones.
Arthroscopy is a technique used by equine surgeons to evaluate and treat diseases within joints. Similar techniques are also used to evaluate and treat diseases within tendon sheaths and bursae.
A narrow, rigid instrument called an endoscope is placed through a small incision to examine the inside of a joint, tendon sheath, or bursa. The image is then transmitted to a camera for viewing on a monitor. Specially designed surgical instruments are passed through separate small incisions to assist in the treatment of disease within these structures.
Endoscopic surgery of the abdomen and thorax can be very useful in horses for a variety of different problems. It allows visualization and treatment of parts of the abdomen (laparoscopy) and thorax (thoracoscopy) which can be difficult to reach using other forms of surgery and has the significant advantages of being able to be performed with the horse standing and with minimal incisions.
Wounds occur when living tissue has been cut, broken, burnt, torn, or otherwise damaged.
These wounds must be cleaned, disinfected, and appropriately cared for by a qualified veterinarian as soon as possible.
The Surgery Process
We understand that the prospect of equine surgery can be frightening. Please be assured that we recommend surgery only when it is in your horse's best interests.
Our board-certified equine surgeon and our team are specially trained to handle the complicated needs of equine surgery. You can trust that we will do everything we can to make the process safe and comfortable for your horse.
Standing vs. Traditional Surgery
Most large animal surgeries are performed on standing, awake patients and are typically to repair traumatic injuries, such as lacerations. Other common procedures are castration, reproductive surgery, endoscopic surgery of the upper respiratory tract, and minor hoof and lower leg procedures.
Recovery from general anesthesia is the single largest risk for horses after surgery, and standing surgery avoids most of those risks. Also, some surgical procedures are easier to perform on a standing patient. It is in the patient’s best interest to use a standing procedure whenever possible.
There are certain cases where standing surgery simply cannot be performed. Our veterinary team has extensive experience with equine surgery and will do everything they can to reduce risks.