What is dynamic endoscopy?

Dynamic endoscopy (also known as over-ground or over-land endoscopy) is a process where a horse undergoes exercise, ridden or lunged, with a portable wireless endoscope in the upper airway.

What can it diagnose?

Many upper respiratory tract issues only occur, or may be exacerbated whilst a horse is exercising. Therefore, although a standing scope is very important, alone it may lead to missed or incorrect diagnosis for some upper airway pathologies. For this reason overland endoscopy is unrivalled for diagnosing most upper airway issues such as dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP), laryngeal hemiplegia, dynamic laryngeal collapse, axial deviation of the aryepiglottic vocal fold collapse, retroversion of the epiglottis and brachial arch defects.

Does my horse need a dynamic scope?

Clinical signs which may indicate the need for an over-ground scope include unexplained poor performance, abnormal respiratory noise at rest and/or when exercised.

How do you do it?

We are extremely lucky at Alnorthumbria to have access to a shared Overland endoscope which can be couriered to us normally within two to three days. We will require in most cases a jockey for the horse (experienced and used to riding the horse being scoped). We will also need an area on which to exercise the horse sufficiently to re-create the issue, i.e. a gallops or large arena. We can arrange this at request.

What procedures do you offer if something is found?

Not all upper airway pathologies require intervention and decisions will be made depending on the severity and type of pathology and the horse’s age and its intended use. Typical surgeries for the above pathologies include the hobday procedure, tie-backs, tie-forwards, and soft palate cautery. All procedures can be carried out here at the Fairmoor Equine Clinic under general anaesthesia and with a specialist surgeon.

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