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Central blindness following general anaesthesia due to suspected catheter-related venous air embolism in a gelding
  1. Zita Makra1,
  2. Gábor Bodó1 and
  3. Kata Orsolya Veres-Nyéki2
  1. 1Equine Department and Clinic, University of Veterinary Medicine, Üllő, Hungary
  2. 2Clinical Science and Services, The Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kata Orsolya Veres-Nyéki; kveresnyeki{at}


This case report describes a transient post-anaesthetic bilateral central blindness caused by suspected air embolism associated with intravenous catheter cap disconnection and its medical management in a horse. The cap of the catheter becomes dislodged during head and tail rope assisted recovery. The first clinical signs were sweating, shivering and dyspnoea, which was followed by the collapse of the horse on the ropes and generalised seizures. Supportive treatment was administered in the form of nasal oxygen supply, sedation, flunixin meglumine, dexamethasone, mannitol, followed by per os vitamin supplementation for 5 days. The horse regained vision fully in 2 weeks and returned to its original level of exercise in 4 months.

  • horse
  • anaesthesia
  • central blindness
  • air embolism
  • catheter-associated
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  • Contributors ZM: acquisition of data and interpretation of data; drafting the article; final approval of the submitted version. GB: analysis and interpretation of data, revising the article critically for important intellectual content; final approval of the submitted version. KVN: analysis and interpretation of data; preparation of manuscript; final approval of the submitted version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data is available upon request to the authors.

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