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.
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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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