Thehorse.com - Ful Article
The Horse 911: What's Your Emergency?
27 January 2013
With the horrifically cold temperatures all over the United States this week, I wanted to focus on the prevalence and problems associated with accidental hypothermia. Two examples took place this week in the United Kingdom and here in the United States.
A condition that can occur in any animal (horse, dog, cow, human) that is exposed to hypothermic conditions (for example, falling into a mud hole or pond, or getting trapped in something while it's raining). Rewarming of the hypothermic victim should only be performed by personnel who have a clear understanding of the adverse effects of improper rewarming. The hypothermic horse may die due to improper handling during the extrication and/or rewarming procedures. Arrhythmia/ventricular fibrillation can occur as a result of rough handling during rescue even under mild hypothermia. This is also known as “post-rescue collapse” or ”re-warming shock” and should be carefully evaluated by the veterinarian.
There were so many cases of horses extricated from mud and pond scenarios in late 2010 thru early 2011 that it initiated our investigation of what was going on with the sudden deaths of animals that had otherwise been successfully extricated but then died within 24 hours. A 2011 paper by Dr. Tomas Gimenez highlighted the challenges for firefighters, veterinarians, and horse owners called to the scene of exposed horses. He pointed out that in these scenarios it is most important to try to initiate first aid, extricate the victim, then rewarm the core body temperature of the horse without attempting to warm the extremities or the cold skin...
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