Rossdales Equine Hospital has been at the forefront of head and airway diagnostics and surgery for many decades, and today offers one of the most comprehensive services available anywhere in Europe.
Upper Airway Conditions
Diagnosis of upper airway conditions has been revolutionised in recent years, with the advent of overground exercising endoscopy equipment, allowing accurate diagnosis of many upper airway conditions. Rossdales was one of the first practices in the UK to use this technology and we have completed hundreds of examinations in many types of horses. Not only has it allowed the identification of conditions inconclusive on resting endoscopy, but it has also provided a more complete and accurate assessment of all upper airway cases. This has ensured that all obstructions seen at exercise are identified and, where possible, treated concurrently.
Techniques utilised by our expert clinicians:
- Overground endoscopy
- Laryngeal ultrasonography
- Computed tomography
- Standing trans-endoscopic laser surgery
Upper airway ultrasonography has greatly aided our diagnosis of upper airway disease. Early stages of recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (RLN), fourth branchial arch defects (4-BAD) and arytenoid chondritis can all be determined with this modality. Computed tomography (CT) imaging can also be useful in certain cases, allowing three-dimensional assessment of the larynx.
In addition to the routine surgeries performed under general anaesthesia many procedures can be completed by trans-endoscopic laser techniques (pictured), using sedation and local anaesthesia. These include vocal cord resection, ventriculectomies (Hobday procedures), aryepiglottic fold resection, palatal thermocautery and guttural pouch fenestration for pharyngeal collapse.
Sinus disease can be difficult to diagnose and CT imaging has become invaluable in many sinusitis cases, ensuring the cause of the condition is diagnosed as accurately and quickly as possible. In a similar way to arthroscopy for joint disease, minimally invasive sinoscopic techniques are routinely employed in the diagnosis and treatment of most cases of sinus disease, under standing sedation and local anaesthesia. If the case demands, sinus osteotomies (bone flaps) can additionally be performed in the standing patient, thus avoiding the increased general anaesthesia risk notoriously associated with haemorrhage from the recumbent patient.