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Home » Archive » 2015

TDK conference 2015

Functional diseases of the upper respiratory tract in sport and pleasure horses
Tóth Luca Anna - year 5
SzIU, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Institute for Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science
Supervisors: Joó Kinga DVM, Korbacska-Kutasi Orsolya DVM

Abstract:

Dynamic upper respiratory tract (URT) obstructions can lead to abnormal respiratory noise and poor performance in equine athletes. The advent of overground endoscopy (OE) has allowed the evaluation of the URT in normal exercising conditions. Any factors that increase negative pressure in the URT – poll flexion, lower respiratory tract obstruction, multiple functional disease – can influence its mechanics. The aim of the study was to highlight the difficulties in the assessment of URT functional diseases in sport horses and to evaluate plasma lactate level shift secondary to URT obstructions. We performed our examinations in horses showing poor performance or abnormal respiratory noise. The URT and plasma lactate levels were evaluated during rest and during overground endoscopic examination in 19 cases. Horses performed their normal training session. When history and clinical examination suggested a lower airway obstruction, we accomplished bronchoalveolar lavage. Altogether we examined 19 horses, ranging in age from 4 to 21 years (10,8±4,8). Dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP) was diagnosed in 8/19 horses. DDSP was also detected at rest in 4 cases. Left laryngeal hemiplegia (LLHP) was diagnosed in 15/19 horses, 11 of which were complex cases with other types of URT obstructions. Severe pharyngeal collapse – suspected already at rest – was visible in two cases during exercise. In contrast, pharyngeal collapse diagnosed with nasal occlusion at rest in two cases was fully compensated under the rider. Plasma lactate levels significantly decreased during exercise. DDSP and LLHP were found to be the most frequently appearing disorders which is in accordance with the literature. All DDSP cases were suspected to be of inflammatory or obstructive origin. It is different from findings in the case of racehorses, where extrinsic causes are more common. Resting endoscopic examinations were sensitive in cases of obstructive origin. While the management of DDSP must be tailored to the cause, the treatment of LLHP is independent of the underlying cause. LLHP and pharyngeal collapse could not be predicted on the basis of findings at rest, and increased neuromuscular activity during exercise could compensate for the problem in less severe cases. Decreased levels of lactate could be explained by the increased clearance during exercise.



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