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paralyzed larynx?

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  • paralyzed larynx?

    I am looking for a new eventing horse, I came upon a thoroughbred I REALLY liked. He was never raced, and he has great movement, and fantastic conformation. He was the bravest horse I have ever ridden, and I think eventing would definatly be his calling. I looked into him a little more (my friends aunt knows the horse) and I was told he is sound, however they couldn't race him due to a paralyzed larynx. If I purchased him I would want him to go to at least preliminary level eventing. I heard about surgery, and I was wondering if anyone knows of it, and how much it costs? Or should I just go on and look for somthing else?

  • #2
    Paralysed larynx is the official name for a roarer. It can be alleviated with surgery but there are all sorts of complications.
    Why did the people who are racing him not have the surgery done?
    Have you ridden him?
    What is his jumping like?
    When does he start to make a noise - trot, canter or gallop?
    What degree is the paralysis?

    Those are all questions you need to get answers before making a decision?


    • #3
      Surgery is usually not that expensive depending on where in the country you are, does not always fix or stay fixed after the surgery though. Have a client horse that had surgery and still roars, not as bad but we do not work him in the high humidity and we do not expect him to go beyond training. When he is a bit nervous is loud, dressage judges usually make a comment about it also.


      • #4
        I made the surgery part of the contract for purchasing my horse. I made a down payment after a pre-purchase exam, and stipulated that the horse was to have the surgery for his roar and if he proved "sound" afterwards I would buy him. My horse actually had exercise intolerance because the flap would swell and cover his windpipe when he was working hard.

        My horse has plenty of other interesting issues which I won't detail here, but (knock on wood) his breathing has not been an issue since surgery.

        I often wonder if having a roar is really a sign that the horse may have other issues as well. Like they are predisposed to other issues. He is the third horse I've owned and I've been around tons of other horses over the years and he is definitely the biggest problem child. Yet I still love him!


        • #5
          I have a roarer who had the tie back surgery. It was very successful for him. Never had any related issues. He does eat from ground level and drink out of a trough, but I do that with all my horses anyway.

          He is, however, also the most anxious and panic-prone horse I have ever had. I've always wondered if the two factors were related.

          Biggest deal I would have with eventing at higher levels would be the danger that a big bail at a water jump might pose--once the larynx is tied back, it can't close to keep water out. We don't take Jasper swimming...


          • #6
            Originally posted by atr View Post
            He is, however, also the most anxious and panic-prone horse I have ever had. I've always wondered if the two factors were related.
            My horse has this issue as well, among other things. He will literally shake out of fear sometimes, and often from things he's had similar experiences with before. He is pretty brave about jumps, oddly enough.


            • #7
              Did the panic issues come before or after they had the surgery? I've had 2 roarers who did not have the surgery and neither one was a particularly nervous nellie type.


              • #8
                Originally posted by caryledee1 View Post
                Did the panic issues come before or after they had the surgery? I've had 2 roarers who did not have the surgery and neither one was a particularly nervous nellie type.
                Very hard to say. He was treated harshly when he was young, I have not heard good things (found out after I owned him). They pushed him to try to sell him for a lot of money as a 3 year old, but he was completely immature physically and mentally and it did not end well. I restarted him myself and worked with him for several months before making an offer. Before the surgery he would throw fits when asked to work hard, presumably because he couldn't breath well. He was also green, and could be spooky about things under saddle and on the ground in the ring, but quiet otherwise. When I wrote the final check for purchase he was doing full flat work and jumping small jumps without issue calmly. I would not have described him as anxious at that time. Currently, he is a stable riding partner for me on a normal day and takes care of me over fences, but he can be very extreme.

                So many crazy things have happened to this horse in the middle that I'm not sure I could say for sure where his anxiety stems from completely. He definitely has other things going on physically though, which could be more important contributing factors. Hard to say.
                Last edited by morsekg; Oct. 1, 2012, 02:42 PM. Reason: Typo!


                • #9
                  Mine's a race-bred appy/TB cross. He had rather a strange start in life, too. I would say that he has a predisposition to be a bit high strung, but the truly panicky stuff started when his larynx first started to become paralysed and he found he couldn't breathe properly--that's got to be concerning to a flight animal. Woe betide you if you tried to force him into a "frame," so yes, he taught me to ride

                  After the surgery, he improved quite a bit, but is inclined to revert if something gets him really going. He's one horse that I prefer to ride in a running martingale as he tends to fling his head around if he gets upset.


                  • Original Poster

                    I got some more information on the horse I'm interested in. I did not pick up on the breathing problem when I walked, trotted and cantered him in 98 degree Florida weather. I found out from my friend who has known the horse since he was a foal (because the owners failed to tell me so) and she said that he was a very strong horse that never had a lame day in his life, but has the partially paralyzed larynx. Apparently, he was working fine with his 3 mile workouts at the track, but the owner lacked the money to ever race him. He also had only been scoped once. Would this even be a big problem then?
                    Last edited by sporthorsegirl101; Feb. 19, 2013, 06:21 PM. Reason: typo


                    • #11
                      It doesn't sound severe but I would have your vet scope him before you made any decisions.
                      McDowell Racing Stables

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