Sooner Rather Than Later: Roarers May Benefit From Early Intervention

“Roaring,” a term commonly used for horses that have one side of their larynx paralyzed, is more common in Thoroughbreds and draft horses than in other breeds. Some reports suggest that up to 64 percent of Thoroughbreds could suffer from roaring, which is also called laryngeal hemiplegia.

In horses that are expected to perform at an elite level of athletic competition, hemiplegia can be an issue as it can restrict the amount of air flow a horse can take in. In horses that are roarers, one side of the larynx falls into the airway; the noise the horse makes when he is exercising is air trying to get  past the tissue that has fallen in the way, reports The Horse.

To diagnose the disease, a veterinarian will use an endoscope to view the back of the horse’s throat and the larynx. Based on these results, the horse is given a “grade” that denotes his level of paralysis. Grade I indicates that the horse has no abnormalities; Grade IV means that horse has complete paralysis of the laryngeal components. This also includes the vocal folds and the arytenoid cartilages.

There are surgical interventions that can be performed to open an afflicted horse’s airways, allowing him to get more air. One of the more-popular means to do this uses sutures to affix the drooping tissues and removing the soft tissue underneath the cartilage. In the past, surgeons have waited until the arytenoid is completely paralyzed (Grade IV) to perform the tie-back surgery as any movement of the arytenoid might loosen the sutures.

New research reports that horses that were completely paralyzed when the tie-back surgery occurred took longer to return to racing than horses that were Grade III when they had the surgery performed. Additionally, horses that had the surgery completed when they were Grade II and III were 1.83 times more likely to return to racing than horses that were completely paralyzed when the surgery occurred.

Because of these findings, performing tie-back surgery earlier in the disease process than originally thought could lead to an improved outcome for racing Thoroughbreds.

Read more at The Horse.

The post Sooner Rather Than Later: Roarers May Benefit From Early Intervention appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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