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Good News for Horses

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Good News for Horses

OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital Acquires a Dynamic Respiratory Scope

Horse owners can breathe a little easier if their horse is having respiratory problems. Equine veterinary specialists at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital recently acquired a Dynamic Respiratory Scope to help better view the respiratory track of horses.

“The Dynamic Respiratory Scope or DRS will allow us to better assess the upper respiratory track of performance horses,” explains Daniel Burba, DVM, Dipl. of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and professor of equine surgery at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital. “The DRS will be a valuable tool in assessing whether or not the problem is in the throat area.”

Burba says various problems can occur in an upper respiratory track of horses. The new DRS system can help them diagnose things such as roarer (paralysis of the flapper in the throat), displacement of the soft pallet, and problems with the epiglottis. He says that sometimes the throat will even collapse during exercise.

The DRS system is portable and worn across the horse’s back and can even fit under the horse’s regular saddle. A scope is placed up the horse’s nose and a transmitter then projects images from the horse’s throat onto a portable computer screen.

“This system allows us to watch a performance horse ‘work’ in real time and assess its respiratory track simultaneously,” says Burba.  “You can ride the horse or put it on a lunge line. The DRS system records the respiratory track activity even as you watch it live on the screen. So if you want, you can review it after the horse has exercised.”

Burba used the DRS system in his former position at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and thought it would be a great tool for Oklahoma State to offer their clients as one more option to provide premier health care for equine athletes.

If you would like to schedule a respiratory evaluation in the Gaylord Center for Excellence in Equine Health for your performance horse(s), call the OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital at (405) 744-7000, and select ‘2’ for large animal.  


Contact: Derinda Blakeney, APR | OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences | 405-744-6740 | derinda@okstate.edu

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