Radiation Therapy in Horses in 10 Steps

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Step 2: The Way to the Treatment

The way from the stable to the treatment is only a few metres long. Nevertheless, there is a short stop on the way, where the mouth is thoroughly rinsed. This way we are prepared for anything, even in case of unforeseen events. To ensure that the patients arrive safely despite sedation, there are always two people to assist directly at the horse.
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Step 4: Protection of Eyes and Ears

Once the patients are safely placed and the anaesthesia is deep enough, the animals do not notice the measures around them. The eyes are routinely treated with ointment so that they do not dry out during the anaesthesia. The eyelid reflex, which otherwise protects the eye, and blinking are strongly impaired by the anaesthetic medication. In order to isolate the animals acoustically during and after the anaesthesia, they are given surgery swabs in their ears. This muffles the noises, agreements and the buzzing of the linear accelerator.
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Step 6: Precise Positioning

Once the horse has been placed on the patient couch, it is taken to the linear accelerator, the actual radiation unit. Here, the tumour is precisely positioned so that it can be irradiated accurately while the surrounding normal tissue is spared as much as possible.
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Step 8: Monitoring and Controlling

The actual irradiation is triggered via computer systems outside the irradiation room. While one part of the team takes care of the smooth technical process, the other part monitors the patient. Not only the live images from several cameras are transmitted to the control console, but also the vital parameters, the current ECG and the oxygen saturation are permanently monitored. If any of the values deteriorate, the radiation can be interrupted at any time and the entire team is directly at the patient in a few moments. With the short anaesthesia, however, unexpected situations occur only very rarely.
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Step 10: Recovery in a Quiet Environment

Even after getting up, the patients often stay in the recovery boxes for a while. Here it is quiet, warm and the animals are under constant observation, directly or via a camera system. The horses can continue to regain their strength before they are allowed to return to the stable and make contact with their conspecifics. If the animals are particularly stressed, sweaty or tense after the anaesthetic, they can relax in a solarium in addition to personal care. As a rule, the animals can be exercised in our round pen again a few hours after the start of the treatment and have put the entire procedure behind them.

Equinox Healthcare GmbH
Strahlentherapiezentrum für Pferde und Kleintiere
An der Wann 8-10
63589 Linsengericht

T. +49(0) 6051 49098 – 10
F. +49(0) 6051 49098 – 11