Objective— To describe an assisted anesthetic recovery technique using a tilt table for horses after high-risk orthopedic-related procedures and to evaluate outcome.
Study Design— Retrospective study.
Sample Population— Anesthetic recoveries (n=54) for 36 horses.
Methods— Medical records (April 1994–October 2005) for horses that had high-risk orthopedic surgery and recovery from general anesthesia on a tilt table were reviewed. Information about the surgical procedure, anesthetic and recovery period was analyzed.
Results— Of 54 anesthetic recoveries, 1 horse (1.9%) had complete failure of internal fixation during recovery and was euthanatized. Six (11% recoveries) horses failed to adapt to the tilt table system, which necessitated transfer to a conventional recovery room. Complications without important consequences for clinical outcome (skin abrasions, myositis, cast breakage, partial implant failure) occurred during 8 (15%) recoveries.
Conclusions— A tilt table recovery system was associated with minimal incidence of serious complications. Potential disadvantages of the system are the number of personnel required, longer recovery time, and the need for a specialized table.
Clinical Relevance— A tilt table is a useful system for recovering horses believed to be at increased risk of injury during anesthetic recovery after high-risk orthopedic-related procedures.