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Equine Vet J. 2010 Sep;42(6):487-93. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2010.00104.x.

The use of sedatives, analgesic and anaesthetic drugs in the horse: an electronic survey of members of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).

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1
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, USA. john.hubbell@cvm.osu.edu

Abstract

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY:

To determine the sedative, analgesic and anaesthetic drugs and techniques that are used by equine veterinarians. HYPOTHESIS OR OBJECTIVES: To provide equine veterinarians with information concerning veterinary use of anaesthetic techniques, a reflection of the collective experiences of the profession.

METHODS:

A survey was conducted of those members of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) with an electronic mail address on file with the organisation using proprietary, web-based software. The survey was comprised of 30 questions divided into 8 sections: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; local anaesthesia; alternative techniques; standing chemical restraint; epidural anaesthesia; short-term anaesthesia; long-term anaesthesia; and a place for the respondent to make comments.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 13.8% (952/6911) AAEP member veterinarians primarily use phenylbutazone and flunixin as anti-inflammatory drugs, and lidocaine and mepivacaine for local anaesthesia. Combinations of drugs are preferred for standing chemical restraint. While many veterinarians frequently utilise short-term anaesthesia, longer anaesthesia is less frequently performed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most AAEP member veterinarians use sedatives in combination to provide standing chemical restraint. Extra-label use of drugs is a core component of current equine sedation and anaesthetic practice.

POTENTIAL RELEVANCE:

Equine veterinarians can compare their choices of anaesthetic drugs with others practising equine medicine and surgery and may be stimulated to investigate alternative methods of providing comfort to horses.

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