Performance Equine Veterinary Service provides endoscopy procedures to equine patients in our practice and on the farm.
Endoscopy involves using a small camera on the end of a flexible tube, called an endoscope, to take images of the body as it is passed along the desired system or passageway (i.e. esophagus, airway, rectum, uterus, etc.). Upper and lower airway endoscopy involves examining the airways (larynx, trachea) and pharyngeal regions, including the guttural pouches.
- To evaluate a laryngeal function by endoscopic exam, the horses have to be restrained without sedation. We may, however, need a twitch to control the animal since the passage of the endoscope through the nasal passages, which are a very sensitive area. Horses are mildly sedated to perform examinations of other cavities or when the function of the larynx is not evaluated.
- Upper and lower airway exams are performed on the farm with 1 (one) meter fiberscope.
- The endoscope is passed up one or both nostrils, so that the upper airway and associated structures (epiglottis, arytenoid cartilages, guttural pouch, ethymoid turbinates) can be examined.
- Depending on the horses problem, the guttural pouches can be viewed or entered to look for discharge or a cause of bleeding.
- The endoscope is then passed down the trachea to assess for inflammation, mucous, discharge, tumors and/or foreign bodies.
Some of the problems that can be diagnosed with endoscopy are:
- Respiratory disease (i.e. pneumonia, “roarers,” conditions of the pharynx/larynx that impairs the performance in race horses, heaves/recurrent airway obstruction, bronchitis, etc.).
- Guttural pouch mycosis/infection