New ovary removal procedure studied

A study shows a mare’s ovaries can safely be removed without general anesthesia.

A study from Colorado State University shows that removing a mare’s ovaries can be done safely without general anesthesia.

Researchers reviewed the records of 12 mares referred to the university clinic for removal of both ovaries, a procedure commonly done to address abnormal hormone production resulting from tumors or other abnormalities.

A bay horse with white socks trotting through a green field
Removal of a mare’s ovaries is usually done to control abnormal hormone production caused by tumors or other abnormalities.

With the mares sedated and standing in stocks, surgeons removed their ovaries through small incisions while using a laparoscope—a light source and camera on the end of a flexible tube—to view the area. All of the procedures, which lasted from 68 to 84 minutes, were considered successful.

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Four of the mares developed mild postoperative complications, including colic, fever and incisional swelling, but all recovered. Follow-up questionnaires completed by the owners indicated that all the mares had returned to their previous level of activity.

In addition, the researchers note that a major advantage of the new laparoscopic surgical technique is that it is performed from only one side; in contrast, the traditional surgical procedure used to remove ovaries required incisions in both flanks.

Reference: “Left paralumbar laparoscopic bilateral ovariectomy in mares,” Veterinary Surgery, February 2017

This article first appeared in the May 2017 issue (#476) of EQUUS magazine

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