Surgical Services

Soft Tissue Surgery


Scenic Rim Veterinary Services is able to offer a full range of soft tissue surgical procedures carried out in our fully equipped equine surgical facility.The surgery was designed to allow the safe movement of our patients from the adjacent stables into our padded anaesthetic induction room, through onto our fully adjustable surgery table, so that all procedures can be safely carried out under the very latest in inhalational gas anaesthetic (see anaesthesia section). Soft tissue surgery includes all procedures that involve tissues other than joints and bone (see orthopedic surgery section).

Our senior vets are skilled in this area and as such we can offer most procedures without long delays and regularly accept referrals from other veterinary practices locally and from distant sites.  For occasional unusual surgeries we have the ability to bring in specialist equine surgeons for unique and highly advanced procedures.

The types of procedures include but are not limited to;

  • Colic Surgery
  • Caesarian Section
  • Ovarian Tumour removal
  • Rectovaginal Fistula Repair
  • Castrations and rig surgeries( abdonial cryptorchids)
  • Hernias
  • Flexoral and angular limb deformities
  • “Roarer” surgeries (Tie Back)
  •  And many more.



Opthalmic Surgery


Eye sight in horses is critical and eye injuries should be treated as emergencies.  The successful treatment of eye injuries and infections hinges on early detection and treatment.Opthalmic Surgery describes procedures involving the eye and it’s surrounding structures.Using our purpose built equine surgical facility we are able to offer a full range of opthalmic surgery procedures.  We have also assembled the necessary specialised equipment required to carry out these delicate procedures.

Our senior vets have skills and experience in this area of surgery, and we also have a number of specialists that have used our facility and can be brought in for advanced procedures.

The range of techniques offered includes but is not limited to conjuctival grafts, sub palpebral treatment system placement, corneal repair, treatment of sarcoids and enucliation.



Orthopaedic Surgery


Scenic Rim Veterinary Service is able to provide a full range of orthopaedic surgery procedures within our fully equiped equine surgical facility.The surgery has been purpose built and designed to allow safe movement of horses from the adjacent stables into our padded anaesthetic induction room and through onto our fully adjustable surgical table.  This allows our patients to be safely monitored under the latest of inhalational gaseous anaesthetic (see anaestheic section).Orthopaedic surgery specifically involves bones and joints, other surgical procedures are termed “soft tissue” and are discussed in a seperate area.

Our senior vets are skilled in a range of orthopaedic procedures and as such we are able offer many procedures without delay.  For very specialised techniques we have specialist equine surgeons that regularly attend our surgery to allow the highest standards of care to be provided.



Anaesthesia – a Vital Role in Surgery

Good anaesthesia is a key component to safe and effective surgery.  The horse must be maintained at the correct depth to allow them to be pain free during procedures, while keeping the animal’s vital functions at safe levels.

Scenic Rim Veterinary Service uses SEVOFLUORANE, the latest in inhalational anaesthetic agents (one of very few practices in Australia).  The horse is able to recover more quickly from this anaesthetic agent, and it gives more rapid adjustments of anaesthetic depth during the maintenance phase.  In contrast to some other inhalation anaesthetics, it is very safe for foals and it maximises self ventilation.

Our staff are all well trained in anaesthetic monitoring.  Their observation of clinical parameters is assisted at Scenic Rim Veterinary Service by late model digital monitors of heart rate, oxygen saturation, systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure to further maximise patient safety.

Our recovery box is exceptionally safe and well padded.  The recovering patient is observed here by the anaesthetist, as well as by every vet at a computer station via closed circuit IP camera.  This way multiple people can provide assistance if the animal finds itself in an uncomfortable position during recovery.


Standing Surgery


As the name suggests there are some surgical procedures which can be done safely in a standing horse. It is in fact preferable to perform some techniques this way.Scenic Rim Vet Service has several options of stocks/crushes to adequately restrain horses to prevent stress and injury and we have staff that are experienced in a wide variety of described surgical techniques.The use of sedation and local anaesthetic ( by local infiltration, nerve block or epidural) ensures that there is no stress or pain experienced during a procedure.

The types of procedures offered include but are not limited to; sectioning of faulty ligaments or tendons (desmotomy or tenotomy), surgical repair of lacerations to head and limbs, dental procedures as well as mare reproductive techniques (including ovariectomy,  rectovaginal fistula repair and urethral extension) and some eye related procedures.


Case Study – Congenital Club Foot


The foal above was presented with lameness and an abnormal near front hoof.  There was an obviously broken back hoof pastern axis (line A (pedal bone) should be parallel with line B (long and short pastern bones)).  This condition is not primarily a hoof problem, but a muscle abnormality.  It arises when the muscles attached to the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) pull on the back edge of the pedal bone.  This pulls the bone (and hoof) into an upright position.

This foal was given a standing surgery (check ligament desmotomy) to reduce the tension from the DDFT.  The foot was then trimmed at the heels and had a trailing shoe glued on (with increased material under the toe) to achieve correct hoof-pastern alignment.  The ligament that was surgically transected then heals within a couple of months (now longer than its original size).  This procedure is very unlikely to affect the horse’s athletic career.

The foal discussed above had a family member which also had a club foot as a youngster, but it was not presented for surgery.  The radiograph above was taken of this older horse, and it shows the deleterious changes that are produced when a severe club foot is managed with trimming of heels or addition of toe extensions without surgery.

This hoof treatment might make the foot appear normal in the short term, but unfortunately it intensifies the stress on the pedal bone.  The pedal bone cannot move (due to the tendon’s tension on the back of it), so the result is changes to blood flow that create the bone demineralisation and remodelling that is visible above, and it causes lameness and permanent abnormality.

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