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Postanaesthetic brachial compartmental syndrome in a horse
  1. Luís Filipe Louro1,
  2. Francisco Flores Fernández-Flores2,
  3. Oscar Diaz-Delgado Bautista1 and
  4. Mark Senior1
  1. 1Equine Clinical Science, University of Liverpool Institute of Veterinary Science, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2Veterinary Pathology, Infection and Public Health, University of Liverpool Institute of Veterinary Science, Liverpool, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Luís Filipe Louro; luisflpmlouro{at}


A 9-year-old Irish sports horse gelding was anaesthetised out-of-hours for management of digital flexor tendon sheath sepsis after a left hind foot penetration. In the postanaesthetic period, the patient manifested a right forelimb non-weight bearing lameness. Diagnostic imaging and serum biochemistry were unremarkable. The animal progressively deteriorated and became recumbent. After consultation with the owner, euthanasia was performed on welfare grounds. A postmortem examination was performed to establish the cause of the right forelimb lameness. After excluding all other probable causes of postanaesthetic lameness, it was concluded that the patient manifested a postanaesthetic compartmental syndrome due to haemorrhage associated with the ulnar nerve developed intraoperatively. This case report discusses factors associated with increased anaesthetic-related mortality in elective surgical procedures performed out-of-hours, other causes of postanaesthetic forelimb lameness and diagnosis of, and treatment options for, brachial compartment syndrome.

  • anaesthesia
  • neuropathology
  • recovery
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  • 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 All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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