Respiratory problems can be routine appointments for horses with a cough, nasal discharge or abnormalities of breathing, or they can be an emergency when the horse suddenly develops a severe nose bleed (“epistaxis”), obstructed breathing or respiratory distress commonly observed in horses with heaves. Equine airway examinations are especially recommended for athletic horses that are experiencing a decreased level of performance. The evaluation includes a physical examination, careful listening to the lungs (at rest and following exercise), blood tests, chest ultrasonography and radiography, endoscopy and the collection of airway fluid for laboratory testing (microbiology and cytology).
Inflammatory airway disease (IAD) represents a common cause of reduced performance in athletic horses, and the essential test for diagnosing early IAD is a bronchoalveolar lavage (looking for evidence of lower airway inflammation). IAD can be readily controlled through environmental dust management and inhaled drugs.
The Equine Hospital is equipped with respiratory diagnostics including thoracic radiography, ultrasonography, video airway endoscopy and CT scanning. Moreover, we have excellent on-site clinical pathology and microbiology laboratories, another critical component needed to diagnose and properly treat respiratory conditions in adult and young horses.
Highlights of Service:
- Equipped and staffed 365 days a year to provide the most up-to-date emergency critical care and laboratory support
- Diagnostic capabilities including upper airway endoscopy, bronchoscopy, bronchoalveolar lavage and trans-tracheal wash testing
- Supplemental oxygen therapy for horses in respiratory distress
- Isolation facilities for contagious disease