Overground dynamic endoscopy
In some cases, evaluation of the larynx and pharynx whilst the horse is exercising is necessary in order to make a diagnosis.
Many upper airway abnormalities cannot be detected by clinical examination or endoscopy in the resting horse because they only occur during fast work when there is a large increase in the volume of air entering the airways and large changes in airway pressures . Previously, these dynamic respiratory abnormalities were diagnosed by exercising horses on a treadmill while performing endoscopy . This was very successful in detecting disorders such as dorsal displacement of the soft palate or aryepiglottic folds collapse and in grading the severity of recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (“Whistling”; “Roaring”).
However, we have now moved on to using a dynamic endoscopy system that allows a horse to exercise in its own discipline whilst endoscopy is being performed. For example, a racehorse can be exercised at full speed on the gallops, whilst a show horse can be exercised in an arena wearing its full tack and in its normal head carriage position. If necessary, these examinations can be performed at the horse owners’ premises. The overground endoscopy system also has the advantage that no training is needed for the horse prior to performing this type of dynamic endoscopic examination.