Upper Airway Endoscopy

Upper Airway Endoscopy is performed to get a visual look at the upper airway, larynx, and guttural pouches. Common reasons a horse may have its upper airways scoped include upper airway noise such as “roarer” or to look into the guttural pouches for evidence of chondroids in the event of a horse with Strangles.

Common causes of “roaring” in horses include Left Laryngeal Paralysis/Hemiplegia, Epiglottic Entrapment, and Dorsal Displacement of the Soft Palate (DDSP). These conditions can often be repaired with surgery.

A complication of strangles, or infection with Strep. Equi Equi, is the development of chondroids, or purulent balls of puss, within the guttural pouches of the horse. The guttural pouches are blind ended pouches located in the back of the pharynx and contain many important nerves and vessels. Lymph nodes infected by Strep. Equi Equi can drain into the guttural pouches. As the purulent drainage dries, chondroids can form. Often times the guttural pouches need to be flushed in order to clear the infection. Not all horses with chondroids appear sick but can still transmit the disease to other horses.