Post surgical complications from students' large animal surgical exercise

  • B.D. Sanni
  • E.O. Olainipekun
  • A.K. Sackey
  • S.T. Fadason
  • E.O. Gyang


A retrospective study of post surgical complications was conducted on records of students' Large Animal Surgical Laboratories in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (F.V.M.), Ahmadu Bello University (A.B.U), Zaria from 1989 to 1993. Three hundred and eleven surgical complications were recorded from five surgical procedures namely dehorning, orchidectomy, vasectomy, rumenotomy and enterotomy. The commonest complications were wound dehiscence (25.4%), sinusitis (16.7%), and hemorrhage (14.6%). Others included fever (11.3%), edema (10.6%) slipped ligature (6.4%), wound infection (5.5%), peritonitis (4.8%), death (2.6%), intestinal obstruction/adhesion (1.3%), physiological bloat (0.6%) and myiasis (0.3%). Dehorning, castration and rumenotomy resulted in more complications. Surgical site debridement and surgical reconstruction coupled with antibiotic therapy were used in the management of complications. Responses from questionnaires administered to instructors of the surgical laboratories, revealed that post surgical complications were due to poor health status of sheep and goats used, broken asepsis during surgery, wrong use of instrument, poor surgical technique and dirty pens in which they were kept after surgery. Surgical complications no doubt contribute to tremendous high cost of running the students' surgical laboratories which was estimated to cost N80,000 per annum. In order to minimize these complications and consequently to reduce money spent on surgical reconstruction and antibiotic therapy some recommendations are made.
KEY WORDS: Surgical complications, students' practical, sheep and goats

(Nigerian Veterinary Journal: 2002 23(2): 40-45)

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eISSN: 0331-3026