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The plastic endotracheal tube the anaesthetist puts in the horse’s mouth to deliver gas is made by the same manufacturer as those for humans; it’s just that this one’s wider than the tubing coming out of a forecourt petrol pump.
X-ray machines move around the horse on a huge gantry.
The Spanish horse (the hospital insists on patient confidentiality) had arrived at the hospital stables three days earlier.
Clean, bright, airy and surprisingly smell-free blocks, they have high ceilings and ridge vents, with wood chippings on the floor.
Here, equine patients are not slid into a tunnel for an MRI scan – instead, the powerful magnet moves around them.
The £10 million Newmarket Equine Hospital is the largest and most sophisticated in Europe and a centre of excellence for orthopaedics.
It had 3,267 admissions last year from all over the Continent, and of the 834 surgeries, 344 were arthroscopies (keyhole surgery on joints), 88 fracture repairs, alongside 64 colics and 54 respiratory surgeries.
The hospital will be the trauma centre for any horses injured at Greenwich during equestrian events at next year’s London Olympics.
Once he has rearranged the horse, he begins to cut into the gum and part it, in order to remove the tumour from the lower jaw.
Her mouth lolls open as she is hoisted aloft, her hooves strapped together and clipped to a large steel hook.
Weighing in at over half a ton, the magnificent but apparently lifeless Spanish mare dangles upside down and unconscious, from an overhead rail.
Five interns live on site, keeping watch over the horses 24 hours a day.
Horses come here from all over the world and just last month they operated on a thoroughbred stallion at stud estimated to be worth £50 million.