“Roaring” in horses is an upper-airway obstruction caused by the paralysis or weakening of throat structures. Also knows as laryngeal hemiplegia, roaring is degenerative. The condition restricts air intake during exercise and causes the horse to make a whistling or roaring noise as he breathes.
Dr. Ben Ahern, a veterinarian at the University of Queensland, is working to reduce the effects of roaring, which he says affects about 1,400 Australian Thoroughbreds each year. Ahern noted that the current surgical treatment for roaring has a 70 percent success rate, but that it has a variety of complications.
Ahern has developed a prototype prosthesis that could be used to replace the damaged muscle and be customized to each horse; it is put in place during a standing surgery. The prosthesis has been successful in pilot studies, but is not ready for commercial production.
Read more at HorseTalk.
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