Dorsal Displacement of the Soft Palate: Winning With Air

Horses with dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP) characteristically make a “choking” noise as they slow down from the resulting partial airway obstruction, hence the term “choking down” to describe them.
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As the filly surged forward to hold off the challenger from behind, the jockey noticed she started making a funny noise, like she was choking, then she just "ran out of steam." She dropped from first place to fourth place in two strides.

Flaring Nostrils

Horses with dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP) characteristically make a "choking" noise as they slow down from the resulting partial airway obstruction, hence the term "choking down" to describe them.

The above description is typical of a horse which has displaced her soft palate during a race. Right when the horse needs a last burst of energy, it appears as if someone turned off a switch. Horses with dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP) characteristically make a "choking" noise as they slow down from the resulting partial airway obstruction, hence the term "choking down" to describe them

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Written by:

Christina S. Cable, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, owns Early Winter Equine in Lansing, New York. The practice focuses on primary care of mares and foals and performance horse problems.

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