Top Surgery Studies of 2015

Recaps of studies on colic outcomes, treatments for joint problems, respiratory surgery, and more.

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Each year scientific journals publish thousands of horse health studies to help keep veterinarians apprised of the latest research that can help them diagnose, treat, and care for their patients better. And each year at the annual American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, a panel of three veterinarians presents research highlights to attendees during the ever-popular Kester News Hour.

At the 2015 convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas, Elizabeth Santschi, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, took her first turn on the Kester panel. A professor of equine surgery at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in Manhattan, Santschi shared her picks for the top equine surgery-related studies of the year.

Cryptorchidectomy Complications

In the first study Santschi described, researchers reviewed 604 equids that had undergone cryptorchidectomies to remove a retained testicle at a referral hospital. In this retrospective study, the researchers evaluated factors including breed, location of retained testes, surgical technique, and postoperative complications.

Santschi said the team found that 15% of the study population had undergone previous castration attempts, which made locating the hidden testicle more difficult. She said this was because the dropped testicle had been removed, so it wasn’t clear what side the retained one was on, and because scarring made the approach more difficult. Further, they determined that in 60% of horses the retained testicles were located in the abdomen, while the remainder were in the inguinal (groin) region. The researchers determined that surgical technique—standard, noninvasive, invasive, or laparoscopic—had no impact on success or complication rates

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Written by:

Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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