After-hours equine emergency admissions at a university referral hospital (1998-2007): causes and interventions

Viljoen, A., Saulez, M.N., Donnellan, C.M., Bester, L., and Gummow, B. (2009) After-hours equine emergency admissions at a university referral hospital (1998-2007): causes and interventions. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, 80 (3). pp. 169-173.

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Abstract

Medical records of equine after-hours admissions from 1998 to 2007 are reviewed. Data extracted from the medical records included signalment, reason for admission, pre-admission treatment, clinical presentation, procedures performed, final diagnoses, complications occurring in hospital, length of stay and outcome. Eight hundred and twenty after-hours admissions were available of which 75 % were classified as emergencies. Most horses originated from Gauteng province (82 %), with Thoroughbred, Arabian, and Warmbloods representing 46 %, 10%and 7%of horses. Horses had a median age of 7 years and were predominantly male (60 %). Gastrointestinal (64 %) and musculoskeletal (19 %) disorders were the primary reasons for admission. Anti-inflammatories, sedation and antibiotics were given in 51 %, 20 % and 15 % of cases respectively prior to referral. On admission, 23 % of horses had surgical intervention. Intravenous catheterisation (64 %), rectal examination (61 %), nasogastric intubation (56 %), abdominocentesis (33 %) and ultrasonography (19 %) were the procedures performed most frequently. Surgical and medical colics constituted 28 % and 27 % respectively of the overall diagnoses, while piroplasmosis was diagnosed in 5 % of horses. Post-admission complications occurred in <2 % of horses. The median length of stay was 4 days (95 % CI: 1 to 21 days). Overall survival to discharge was 74 %. This study demonstrates that the majority of after-hours equine admissions to a university referral hospital required medical intervention and were mostly due to gastrointestinal disorders. Information obtained from this study can be used in emergency referral planning.

Item ID: 9061
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0038-2809
Keywords: emergency medicine; equine hospital; gastrointestinal; musculoskeletal; piroplasmosis; ultrasonography
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Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2010 06:25
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology @ 70%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070706 Veterinary Medicine @ 30%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences @ 100%
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