To review the literature concerning mortality associated with general anaesthesia in horses and to assess whether there is evidence for a reduction in mortality over the 20 years since the Confidential Enquiry into Perioperative Equine Fatalities (CEPEF).Databases used
PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar. Search terms used: horse; pony; equine; anaesthesia; anesthesia; recovery; morbidity, and mortality.Conclusions
The most recent studies, in which isoflurane and sevoflurane have been more commonly used for anaesthesia maintenance, report fewer intraoperative cardiac arrests than older studies in which halothane was favoured. Catastrophic fractures, however, have become the greatest cause of recovery-associated mortality.