At Aireworth Vets we use safe and effective anaesthetic agents and equipment.

Under General Anaesthetic, consciousness is lost preventing pain and stress to the horse.

Prior to General Anaesthetic

Take your horse's food away at 9pm the night before so they have an empty stomach.

You may leave water available for your horse.

Once you arrive at the surgery, you will be greeted by one our equine nurses who will go through the consent form with you.


Before the surgery

A sedative is administered by intramuscular injection to reduce stress.

The horse will be moved into the knockdown box which is heavily padded with a soft floor. The horse is heavily sedated so we can insert a catheter into the jugular vein in the neck.

The anaesthetic is then administered using the catheter.

Once the horse is lying down we enter the ET tube - this is connected to the anaesthetic machine which helps the horse to breathe and keeps the horse asleep throughout.

Once breathing is regular the horse is moved using a mechanical winch to the surgical table.


During surgery

A vet is responsible for monitoring the level of anaesthetic given and the horse's health by using a blood pressure monitor, ECG machine and visual observation.

The vet will also administer fluids and further medication as required.

Our experienced nurses are on hand to assist with both the anaesthesia and surgical procedures.



The horse is moved back to the knockdown box where it can recover slowly and calmly.

Throughout the recovery the horse is monitored by vets and nurses who will contact you once the horse is fully recovered.

Following a general anaesthetic we like to keep your horse overnight for further observations.


Going home

We will arrange a suitable time for you to collect your horse.

You will be provided with a discharge sheet which has all the information you need.

It may be necessary to arrange a follow up appointment depending on the surgery carried out.


If your horse has been in for colic surgery please click here for aftercare advice.