Endoscopy facilitates the visualisation of otherwise inaccessible areas of the equine respiratory tract. The pharynx, larynx, guttural pouches and trachea can be visualized using a portable fibre optic endoscope. Using an endoscope, we can visualise these regions of the horse in great detail and take biopsy samples for on site laboratory diagnosis.
In the hospital we have two videoendoscopes that allow the image to be displayed on a TV screen, enabling the client and vet to observe and discuss the case at the same time. In addition, we have 3 portable endoscopes that allow horses to be examined by our ambulatory team without the need for a hospital visit.
Endoscopy is an essential part of the evaluation of horses with upper airway obstructions and abnormal respiratory noises, lung diseases, gastric (stomach) ulcers and many urinary tract diseases.
One of the many benefits of our affiliation with the University of Nottingham Vet School is that we have access to the latest state-of-the-art equipment. An example of this, is an overland endoscope which is used for the diagnosis of upper respiratory tract disorders in exercising horses. This complex equipment works by allowing us to see inside a horse's throat during ridden exercise. The horse is ridden with a small endoscope threaded up the nose, and real time images of the throat function are transmitted to a computer via blue tooth technology. Horses can be exercised in our arena or taken to gallops elsewhere, where a faster competitive exercise test can be performed. This equipment has already greatly increased our ability to diagnose the cause of respiratory noises and poor performance in equine athletes.