Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Anesthesia: peri-operative complications - respiratory

Contributor(s): Leah Bradbury, Mark Senior

Pre-anesthetic examination

  • A full pre-anesthetic examination should be performed.
  • Particular points of interest to the respiratory system.
  • Observe nares for discharge and movement of air through both nostrils.
  • The sinuss should be percussed for evidence of sinusitis although this test is not 100% sensitive.
  • The larynx palpated, the crico-arytenoid dorsalis muscles insertions on the top of the larynx should be palpated for atrophy and a slap test performed   Larynx: slap test  , palpate skin for any evidence of scaring associated with laryngoplasty or ventriculectomy surgery.
  • The trachea and chest should be auscultated fully   Thorax: auscultation  , palpate trachea for evidence of previous tracheostomy, and auscultate trachea at the thoracic inlet.
  • A rebreathing may aid auscultation of the chest.
  • If abnormalities are detected on physical examination further diagnostic tests such as endoscopy   Respiratory: endoscopy  , radiography   Thorax: radiography  , ultrasonography   Ultrasonography: thorax  , bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)   Lung: bronchoalveolar lavage  , tracheal wash   Trachea: tracheal wash  , blood gases   Blood: gas analysis   or pleurocentesis may be advocated before undertaking general anesthesia.

Common respiratory complications and their treatment

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Proposed procedure

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Induction

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Maintenance

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Recovery

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Robertson S A & Bailey J E (2002) Aerosolized salbutamol (albuterol) improves PaO2 in hypoxaemic anaesthetized horses a prospective clinical trial in 81 horses. Vet Anaesthesia Analgesia 29 (4), 212-218 PubMed.
  • Reibold T W (1990) Principles and techniques of Equine Anaesthesia. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract (6), 485-781 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Thurmon J C, Tranquilli W J & Benson G J (1996) Lumb & Jones's Veterinary Anaesthesia. 3rd edn. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. ISBN: 0683082388.
  • Taylor P M & Clarke K W (1999) Handbook of Equine Anaesthesia. W B Saunders. ISBN: 0702018066.
  • West J B (2000) Respiratory Physiology The Essentials. 6th edn. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. ISBN: 0683307347.


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