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Oklahoma State University

OSU Veterinary Students Learn Field Skills

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Brenna Brawner (left) places an IV catheter in a horse during the equine surgery and sport medicine elective, while Kayla Schroeder (right) holds the patient.

Third year veterinary students had an opportunity this spring to hone their field anesthesia and equine surgery skills at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. As part of Dr. Mike Schoonover’s equine surgery and sports medicine elective, 14 students spent two afternoons prepping seven horses for surgery and then castrating the horses outdoors in the center’s paddock.

“Equine castration is considered a routine procedure and it is often perform in the field under short acting anesthesia,” explained Schoonover, associate professor and board certified in both equine surgery and equine sports medicine and rehabilitation. “It’s important that our students get hands-on experience in real life circumstances. In this laboratory, students also learn how to adapt to the environment when performing field anesthesia and surgery.”

“All of the horses recovered from the anesthesia beautifully and are now happy geldings,” added Schoonover. “Supplies were obtained through course fees and donations from Zoetis so the students were able to perform the castrations at no cost to the horse owners. Owners were responsible for bringing their horses to and from the veterinary center.”

For more information on equine services available at Oklahoma State University’s veterinary center, visit the Equine services webpage. For more information on Oklahoma State University’s DVM program at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, visit the DVM Program webpage.

students performing equine castration
Abraham Aviles begins the castration procedure on the first patient while Dr. Mike Schoonover supervises and helps hold the horse. Chelsey Michelsen tends to the horse’s head while Kyre Larrabee records the horse’s vitals during the procedure every five minutes as Mayte Aleman-Carter, RVT, explains proper field anesthesia techniques. Nikki Collins prepares to remove the horse’s second testicle to finish the castration.
student performing equine castration
Brenna Brawner prepares to remove the first testicle from a patient while Dr. Mike Schoonover supervises and steadies the horse. Kayla Shroeder prepares to step in to finish the castration process.
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