Permanent Tracheostomy Safe and Effective in Select Horses

Creating a permanent hole in the windpipe of horses through a tracheostomy might be the treatment of choice.

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Creating a permanent hole in the windpipe of horses through a procedure known as a tracheostomy might be the treatment of choice for horses afflicted with specific diseases of the upper respiratory tract that could not be successfully treated by alternate strategies.

“While the procedure itself is not novel, information regarding post-operative complications, maintenance of the stoma (hole), and outcomes in these horses is lacking,” explained co-author Berkley Chesen, DVM, from the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Texas A&M University.

This retrospective study evaluated data from 82 horses treated via standing tracheostomy (“standing” indicates that the horses were not anesthetized) between April 1995 and October 2005.

Horses included in the study had been diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cicatrix (scar tissue), arytenoid chondropathy (disease of the arytenoid cartilages), and/or complicated cases of laryngeal hemiplegia (“roarers”)

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Written by:

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she’s worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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