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Epidural anesthesia and analgesia in horses

Epidural anesthesia is a loco-regional anesthesia technique where drugs are injected in theepidural space. In the 19th century, this technique was developed for human medicine, and laterfound its way into veterinary medicine. It is useful for surgical interventions in the standinghorse, as part of a balanced anesthetic protocol or for postoperative pain management. Analgesiaand anesthesia involves the pelvis, pelvic limbs, tail, vagina, vulva, anus, perineum and abdomen.However, several contraindications and complications have been reported for epidural anesthesia. In horses, epidural injections can be performed cranially (lumbosacral space) or caudally(sacro-coccygeal or Co1-Co2 ). While single injections can be performed, the use of epiduralcatheters allows repeated administration. Depending on the desired effect, different drugs (localanesthetics, alpha2-agonists, opioids, ketamine, tramadol or tiletamine-zolazepam), drug combinations and volumes can be chosen.

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