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Objective

To evaluate results of cytologic examination of specimens obtained by means of tracheal washes (TW) in 42 horses with a history of poor performance.

Design

Cross-sectional case series.

Animals

42 horses with a history of poor performance.

Procedure

A TW was performed via endoscopy before and after horses exercised on a high-speed treadmill, and specimens were evaluated microscopically and graded.

Results

Ten (24%) horses were considered to be clinically normal before and after exercise. Pulmonary hemorrhage was diagnosed in 8 (19%) horses. One horse had evidence of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) before exercise and pulmonary hemorrhage and allergic or inflammatory airway disease (IAD) after exercise. Five (12%) horses had IAD, and 1 had IAD and pulmonary hemorrhage after exercise. Seven (17%) horses had evidence of EIPH and IAD in both specimens. Four (10%) horses with EIPH had an increase in the proportion of hemosiderophages in the specimen obtained after exercise. Specimens obtained before exercise in 6 (14%) horses were not representative of the respiratory tract and could not be compared with specimens obtained after exercise.

Clinical Implications

Interpretation of TW specimens obtained before and after exercise differed for only 5 of 36 (14%) horses. Specimens obtained after exercise were more likely to reveal airway disease. All specimens obtained after exercise adequately represented the respiratory tract, whereas 6 specimens obtained before exercise did not. Specimens obtained after exercise contained more airway secretions and had less cytologic evidence of pharyngeal contamination. Therefore, we recommend that TW samples be obtained after exercise in horses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:673–677)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—3 racehorses were evaluated because of poor performance or abnormal noise originating from the upper portion of the respiratory tract.

Clinical Findings—During maximal exercise, initial dynamic videoendoscopy of the upper respiratory tract revealed complete arytenoid cartilage abduction in 2 horses and incomplete but adequate abduction of the left arytenoid cartilage in 1 horse. Subsequent exercising endoscopic evaluation revealed severe dynamic collapse of the left arytenoid cartilage and vocal fold in all 3 horses.

Treatment and Outcome—2 horses were treated with prosthetic left laryngoplasty and raced successfully. One horse was retired from racing.

Clinical Relevance—Idiopathic laryngeal hemiplegia can be a progressive disease. Successive dynamic videoendoscopic upper airway evaluations were used to confirm progression of left laryngeal hemiplegia in these 3 horses. Videoendoscopy of the upper respiratory tract during exercise should be considered as part of the clinical evaluation of horses with signs of upper respiratory tract dysfunction.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To evaluate laryngeal function by means of videoendoscopy during high-speed treadmill exercise in racehorses with grade-III left laryngeal hemiparesis at rest and to determine outcome of treatment.

Design

Retrospective study.

Animals

26 racehorses.

Procedure

Videoendoscopy of the larynx was performed while horses were at rest and exercising on a treadmill. Horses were classified as having grade-III A, -IIIB, or -IIIC laryngeal hemiparesis on the basis of the degree of arytenoid cartilage abduction maintained during exercise. Postoperative racing performance was determined by evaluating race records and conducting telephone surveys.

Results

20 (77%) horses had grade-IIIC laryngeal hemiparesis (ie, severe dynamic laryngeal collapse during exercise). Eighteen underwent surgery, and racing performance was improved in 9. Five (19%) horses had grade-IIIB laryngeal hemiparesis (ie, left arytenoid cartilage and vocal fold were maintained in an incompletely abducted position during exercise). Four underwent surgery, and racing performance was improved in 1. One (4%) horse had grade-IIIA laryngeal hemiparesis (ie, full abduction of arytenoid cartilage during exercise); surgery was not performed.

Clinical Implications

Videoendoscopy is useful in determining dynamic laryngeal function in racehorses with grade-III laryngeal hemiparesis at rest. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:399-403)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine results for horses undergoing a high-speed treadmill examination, including videoendoscopy of the pharynx and larynx before and during exercise, echocardiography before and after exercise, and electrocardiography before, during, and after exercise, because of poor performance.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—348 horses.

Results—A definitive diagnosis was obtained for 256 (73.5%) horses. One hundred forty-eight horses had dynamic obstruction of the airway during exercise, 33 had clinically important cardiac arrhythmias alone, 22 had a combination of dynamic airway obstruction and clinically important cardiac arrhythmias, 19 had poor cardiac fractional shortening immediately after exercise, 10 had exertional rhabdomyolyis, 15 had clinically apparent lameness, and 9 had other disorders. Thirtynine of the horses with dynamic obstruction of the airway during exercise had multiple airway abnormalities. Fifty-three horses also had subclinical myopathy.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that a complete evaluation, including a highspeed treadmill examination, should be conducted in horses with poor performance, regardless or whether horses do or do not have a history of abnormal respiratory noises and particularly if the horses have grade- II or -III left laryngeal hemiplegia. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:554–558)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association