The term Horner syndrome refers to the clinical presentation of oculosympathoparesis, comprising miosis, ptosis, and facial anhydrosis. To date, there are 2 reports of postoperative Horner syndrome in pigs. In this species the cervical sympathetic chain and cranial cervical sympathetic ganglion are consistently within the carotid artery sheath. This case study describes the sudden onset of Horner syndrome in 2 pigs, from a study cohort of 8, after the placement of a vascular graft between the carotid artery and external jugular vein. Anesthesia and surgery was uneventful in all the pigs in the study, but 2 pigs demonstrated clinical signs including ptosis, enophthalmos and prolapse of the nictitating membrane immediately after recovery from anesthesia. Horner syndrome was diagnosed in light of the clinical signs. These clinical signs persisted throughout the 2-mo study period and did not appear to improve or deteriorate in that time. Gross examination of the surgery site at the end of the study did not reveal an obvious lesion in the carotid artery sheath. The risk of Horner syndrome after surgery involving the carotid artery in pigs had not been reported prior to this study. Without specific measures to protect the cervical sympathetic ganglion during surgery, the incidence of postoperative Horner syndrome was 25% in our population of pigs. Although the welfare implications of this syndrome are minimal, concerted effort to avoid intraoperative damage to the cervical ganglion is essential for future work.
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|Published - 1 Dec 2017