Evaluating Horse Airways: At Rest, During Exercise, or Both?

Both endoscopic techniques provide invaluable information and, in most cases, should be used together, one practitioner says.
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Evaluating Horse Airways: At Rest, During Exercise, or Both?
Both endoscopic techniques provide invaluable information and, in most cases, should be used together, one practitioner says. | Photo: Courtesy Dr. Julie Fjeldborg
Veterinarians, if you’re evaluating a horse with a respiratory noise, do you reach for your standard endoscope to assess the horse at rest or arrange to have a dynamic or overground analysis performed?

As it turns out, both techniques provide invaluable information and, in most cases, should be used together.

“Start with resting endoscopy,” advised Safia Barakzai, BVSc, MSc, DESTS, Dipl. ECVS, FRCVS, an equine surgeon from Equine Surgical Referrals, in West Sussex, U.K., during her presentation at the 2017 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Nov. 17-21 in San Antonio, Texas. “Be aware, though, that even within seconds to minutes within cessation of exercise, conditions in the upper respiratory tract change, and abnormalities can rapidly disappear.”

Therefore, the goal of the resting endoscopic examination is to investigate gross structural abnormalities and potentially predict the horse’s laryngeal function during exercise

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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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