Upper airway disease can be a major cause of poor performance and abnormal respiratory noise in the equine athlete. Owners, trainers and veterinary colleagues will often have anecdotal ways of diagnosing upper airway disease that, in some cases, may be unreliable and misleading. Recent advances in the diagnosis of upper airway disease using ultrasonography, computed tomography and exercising endoscopy have allowed more detailed and precise identification of individual conditions.
As a result of more accurate diagnosis, surgical and conservative treatments can be selected much more confidently – potentially leading to a more successful outcome. Many traditional surgeries can now be performed in the standing patient, using sedation and local anaesthesia, often making the procedure more straightforward and negating the risks and costs associated with general anaesthesia.
· Review performance-limiting and noise-generating upper airway conditions in the horses.
· How to accurately diagnose upper airway disease in the horse.
· Determine the best management and treatment options for the patient.
· Provide an overview of how modern surgical interventions are performed.