Researchers from the United States and Sweden successfully collaborated to modify a surgical technique to correct wry nose (an abnormal nasal deviation) in the horse. The new technique necessitates only one operation and results in a positive functional and cosmetic outcome with few postoperative complications.

Wry nose is a birth defect, most commonly seen in Arabians, characterized by a shortening and deviation of the upper jaw and nose.

"In severely affected foals, the nose can deviate up to 90 degrees and is sometimes accompanied by other abnormalities, such as cleft palate. All or some of the teeth may fail to occlude and the tongue may protrude," explained co-author Jim Schumacher, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, MRCVS from the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Tennessee.

Together these abnormalities can limit a foal’s ability to nurse and can cause respiratory difficulties.

Equine Center

A foal with wry nose.

According to Schumacher, horses with wry nose are not commonly treated because the operation is technically difficult, and it generally requires two separate surgeries performed two to three months apart.

"Our modified technique is advantageous because the foal is only anesthetized once," said Schumacher. (General anesthesia can be risky in horses.) In addition, more than just the deviated portion of the nasa