Matt Swarbrick at Minster Equine gives us the low down on the new technology to examine the upper respiratory tract
When a horse is heard to make an abnormal noise during exercise the initial step would be to use an endoscope (a long flexible camera) to examine the horse's upper respiratory tract (throat and airway). Some conditions can be diagnosed at rest but others only occur during exercise.
Overground endoscopy (OGE) is an advanced technique that allows us to examine the upper respiratory tract when a horse is galloping. The technique is also useful in horses that are not running or working as well as expected.
An endoscope is inserted up the nostril and positioned to focus on the larynx at the back of the throat. The camera is held in place on a specially designed bridle and is connected to a computer system mounted beneath the saddle. This records the video and also sends a live feed back to a wireless handheld monitor so that we can look at the horse's larynx as it is exercised. The horse is then exercised normally, but at a good pace to exacerbate any issues, and we follow in a vehicle with the monitor.
Once we know what the problem is we can discuss options with connections to decide on the best way to get the horse back to peak performance.
Thanks to Matt Swarbrick at Minster Equine for providing this feature for Mick Easterby Racing.
Posted: Friday 11 August 2017
Visit Minster Equine
The endoscopy equipment is fitted by Minster Equine vet Katherine Hall
The horse and vehicle travel in parallel sending data to the receiver.
The horse is worked at full gallop to get the maximum effect.
Data is analysed by vet Matt Swarbrick to investigate any problems that might be evident.