Carmen the horse has multiple tubes and sensors attached to her tongue during surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11. (Collegian | Milo Gladstein)
Carmen the horse has multiple tubes and sensors attached to her tongue during surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11.

Collegian | Milo Gladstein

Equine emergencies

Johnson Family Equine Hospital gives students hands on surgical experience.

January 26, 2022

The Johnson Family Equine Hospital, which opened in September 2021 thanks to a $10 million gift by namesakes Helen and Arthur Johnson, provides high-quality care for horses and a state-of-the-art learning opportunity for Colorado State University students.

Brook Hursh, fourth year vet student at Colorado State University in her first ever surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital
Brooke Hursh, fourth-year veterinary student at Colorado State University, assists in her first-ever surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11. (Collegian | Milo Gladstein)

Surgeries performed Dec. 11 were led by Dr. Laurie Goodrich and assisted by a team of doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists and veterinary students. 

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The first patient was Carmen, who was in surgery for fluid buildup caused by a tendon tear. 

“We know that this horse had increased fluid in that little space because of the tear, and we confirmed that on MRI first,” Goodrich said.

Brooke Hursh, a fourth-year veterinary student at Colorado State University, scrubbed into surgery for the first time and said the hands-on experience with a patient added depth to her studies. 

“This is the first surgery I’ve ever scrubbed into,” Hursh said. “It has helped me see a lot of the anatomy learned in the classroom.” 

 

Procedure

Collegian | Milo Gladstein

Surgical instruments lay on a table at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11.

Procedure

The team used various surgical instruments, such as scalpels and a suction tube, to remove excess fluid, and a camera fed live video to a TV screen so Goodrich could see what was happening as she worked.

The surgical team prepares Carmen for surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital
The surgical team prepares Carmen for surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11. (Collegian | Milo Gladstein)

“Horses have a tendon that goes down deep into the back of their hoof,” Goodrich said. “It’s the main tendon that supports the horse’s legs and causes the flexion ability of them to flex their legs, and that tendon is the most important one. … The navicular bursa is bordered by a tendon and the navicular bone and has fluid within it.”

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Finn gets ready for anethstesia at The Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11.
Finn the horse gets ready for anesthesia at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11.
(Collegian | Milo Gladstein) 

The second patient, named Finn, was put under anesthesia and prepared for surgery. The team used many straps and harnesses to attach Finn to a crane to move him into the operating room for his surgery.

For Goodrich, the most difficult part of the job is attempting perfection.

“You want everything to go perfectly, and it doesn’t always go perfectly,” Goodrich said. “You always want the cutting-edge best for your patients, so I think when it’s not at 100% — it might be 90% — that’s, in our minds, not good enough.” 

 

 

Equine emergencies: Gallery

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  • Dr. Laurie Goodrich prepares for surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital to let out fluid buildup caused by a tendon tear, Dec. 11.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Surgeons, anesthesiologists and students crane Finn the horse into the operating room at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital for surgery Dec. 11. “I am a professor, and now I direct the orthopedic research center as well, which has many faculty in it and residents and clinicians and Ph.D. students,” Dr. Laurie Goodrich said.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Surgeons, anesthesiologists and students crane Finn into the operating room at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital for surgery Dec. 11.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Finn is prepared for surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Kevin Brewer helps Finn down to the ground after giving him anesthesia before surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11. “We have radiologists that help us diagnose the condition; we have a board certified anesthesiologist,” Dr. Laurie Goodrich said. “So we have different teams that come together.”

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Finn gets ready for anesthesia at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Kevin Brewer and Dr. Pedro Boscan prepare Finn for anesthesia before surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11. “We can do a lot at Colorado State University,” Dr. Laurie Goodrich said. “Biologics consist of stem cell therapies, proteins derived from their blood and several different things we also research here at CSU.”

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Fluid that built up from a tendon tear is drained from Carmen the horse’s leg during surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11. “We do a lot of the rate research, and then we apply it to our clinical cases,” Dr. Laurie Goodrich said. “This combination allows us to really have that cutting-edge facility because we have people that are doing the surgeries that are actually doing the research as well.”

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Dr. Tom O’Brian, Dr. Charlie Barton, Brooke Hursh and Dr. Laurie Goodrich perform surgery on Carmen the horse to let out fluid buildup caused by a tendon tear at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11. “This is the first surgery I’ve ever scrubbed into,” said Brooke Hursh, fourth-year veterinary student at Colorado State University. “It has helped me see a lot of the anatomy learned in the classroom.”

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Surgeons, students and professors perform surgery on Carmen the horse at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital to let out fluid buildup caused by a tendon tear, Dec. 11.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Dr. Laurie Goodrich uses a video camera and various tools during surgery to let out fluid buildup caused by a tendon tear at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11. “We know that this horse had increased fluid in that little space because of the tear, and we confirmed that on MRI first,” Dr. Laurie Goodrich said.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Surgeons and students use a video camera and various tools during horse surgery Dec. 11. “(The hardest part about surgery is) you want everything to go perfectly, and it doesn’t always go perfectly,” Dr. Laurie Goodrich said. “You always want the cutting-edge best for your patients, so I think when it’s not at 100% — it might be 90% — that’s, in our minds, not good enough.”

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Dr. Tom O’Brian prepares a video camera for surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11. “This is a very common surgery because we see this tearing in that area a lot because (horses) commonly get tears within their foot in the distal part of their limb,” Dr. Laurie Goodrich said.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Surgeons and students inject Carmen to prepare for surgery to let out fluid buildup caused by a tendon tear at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11. “The navicular bursa is bordered by a tendon and the navicular bone and has fluid within it,” Dr. Laurie Goodrich said.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Dr. Laurie Goodrich prepares all the necessary tools and equipment needed to perform surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11. “After the surgery, (the horse) will get stem cell therapy and rehabilitation,” Dr. Laurie Goodrich said.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Dr. Laurie Goodrich prepares Carmen for surgery to let out fluid buildup caused by a tendon tear at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital Dec. 11. “Horses have a tendon that goes down deep into the back of their hoof,” Dr. Laurie Goodrich said. “It’s the main tendon that supports the horse’s legs and causes the flexion ability of them to flex their legs, and that tendon is the most important one.”

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • The surgical team, led by Dr. Laurie Goodrich, prepares Carmen for surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital to let out fluid buildup caused by a tendon tear, Dec. 11. “This hospital has amazing imaging abilities,” Dr. Laurie Goodrich said.”(Carmen) had an MRI and all the fluid was seen.”

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

  • Bailey Harmon, fourth-year veterinary student at Colorado State University, helps prepare Carmen the horse for surgery at the Johnson Family Equine Hospital to let out fluid buildup caused by a tendon tear, Dec. 11.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein

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