Standing Thyroidectomy in 10 horses

Marco Marcatili, Sarah Voss, Patrick Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective – To describe a surgical technique for thyroidectomy in horses with thyroid neoplasia under standing sedation and local anesthesia.
Study design – Retrospective clinical study.
Animals – Client owned horses (n=10).
Methods – Medical records of horses with a history of thyroid enlargement were reviewed. Horses were included in the study if thyroid gland enlargement was treated surgically using hemi- or bilateral thyroidectomy with the horse standing and sedated. Data from follow up clinical examination, performance level, occurrence of regrowth and cosmetic outcome were evaluated.
Results –Thyroid enlargement was unilateral in eight, and bilateral in two horses. Histopathological findings included adenomas (50%), adenocarcinomas (20%), cystic hyperplasia (20%), and C-cell adenoma (10%). No major complications were encountered during surgery or during the postoperative period. All the horses resumed their previous level of exercise within six weeks. One horse presented with evidence of recurrence after seven months and a second surgery was required. Recurrent laryngeal nerve neuropathy and seroma formation subsequent to surgery, were not recorded in any of the cases.
Conclusion – Thyroidectomy can safely be performed with the horse standing and sedated with local anesthesia.
Clinical relevance – Performing standing thyroidectomy does not increase intra- or postoperative complications and could be considered for horses presented with thyroid enlargement amenable to surgery.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2017


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