Anesthetizing Mules, Miniature Horses, and More

When it comes to putting equids such as mules and Miniature Horses under general anesthesia, veterinarians must factor in those animals’ physical and behavioral differences.
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Miniature horses are, of course, small. This means the veterinarian needs to not only calculate smaller doses of anesthesia but also make equipment modifications, such as using smaller syringes and needles. | Photo: iStock
Veterinarians follow a routine process when anesthetizing horses for surgical procedures. When it comes to putting equids such as mules and Miniature Horses under general anesthesia, however, they must factor in those animals’ physical and behavioral differences.

At the 2018 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in San Francisco, California, Nora Matthews, DVM, Dipl. ACVAA, a professor at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, in College Station, described these differences and how they can affect anesthesia.

Miniature Horses

“Obviously, they are small … very small,” said Matthews.

This means the veterinarian needs to not only calculate smaller doses of anesthesia but also make equipment modifications, such as using smaller syringes and needles

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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