Equine event shows value of endoscope
by Jan Shepel, Correspondent, Wisconsin State Farmer (part of USA Today network)
ARLINGTON (February 15, 2017) -- Horse owners were able to get the latest on equine care and scientific research last weekend at a special event hosted by Lodi Veterinary Care (LVC) for its equine clients. Clinic veterinarians and technicians demonstrated on live horses how the practice’s new endoscope can be used to diagnose problems in the digestive tract and in the respiratory tract.
The addition of live horses to the clinic’s annual appreciation dinner for its equine clients was made possible by a change of venue. Previously the event had been held at the Lodi High School but this year a conflicting event made it necessary to find another location. Using the University of Wisconsin’s Arlington Agricultural Research Station’s Public Events building meant that they could offer demonstrations on live animals.
New to the veterinary practice in the last year or so is the endoscope. The diagnostic tool uses either a one-meter scope for use in the upper respiratory tract or a three-meter scope in the digestive tract. In the respiratory tract it can help the vets visualize nasal passages, guttural pouches, the larynx and trachea. Dr. Dave Kolb explained that taking a close look at the larynx can help them determine if a horse has breathing problems as the result of paralysis of one side of the larynx – often called “roaring” because of the sound the horse may make when it breathes heavily. (The technical term is laryngeal hemiplegia.)
He spoke about the use of the scope as Dr. Kathryn Livesey demonstrated its use with several sedated horses. With the help of veterinary technicians, she maneuvered the scope into a tricky area of the respiratory tract to show the guttural pouches where infections like “strangles” can linger. The tool can be used to take samples for cultures or cytology. It can also be useful in looking at the esophagus to diagnose problems with horses who have repeated or severe bouts of choking.
With a second horse Livesey demonstrated how the scope vividly illuminates the stomach and esophagus of equine patients. It can offer pictures of parasites in the stomach or diagnose ulcers in horses.
Kolb explained that the stomach of horses has two distinctive linings, one covers the inside of the stomach in the upper region and the “glandular” area is at the lower portion of the stomach, where the acid is produced. When the horse produces excess acid and it splashes up on the tender upper lining of the stomach it can cause ulcers or Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS.)