Time-related changes in post-operative equine morbidity: A single-centre study

K. J. Borland, D. J. Shaw, R. E. Clutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our objective was to test the hypothesis that the prevalence and type of post-operative equine morbidity at a single centre does not change over time with a retrospective and prospective observational study. The post-operative case records of 92 (of 96) horses undergoing nonabdominal procedures, and surviving to discharge, were compared with previous data from the same centre. Predefined morbidities were recorded from horses undergoing surgery between August 2013 and July 2014. This was compared with data collected from the same institute from April 2004 to June 2005 and published in a previous study. The overall prevalence of morbidities increased from 13.4% to 25%. The prevalence of post-anaesthetic colic, thrombophlebitis, pyrexia, lameness, neuropathy and myopathy increased while the proportion of incidence of diarrhoea, respiratory distress and wounds sustained in recovery decreased. There was a statistically significant association (P = 0.045) between the duration of surgery and the prevalence of post-anaesthetic colic. Geldings were less likely (odds ratio 0.12, 95% confidence interval 0.02–0.84) to develop swelling at the catheter site and the likelihood of thrombophlebitis increased by 1.20 (95% confidence interval 1.01–1.41) for every year of life. Tracking morbidities and changes in their prevalence may elucidate their possible causation and allow prophylactic measures to be taken.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-37
JournalEquine Veterinary Education
Issue number1
Early online date27 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • horse
  • anaesthesia
  • morbidity
  • post operative


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