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Event Announcements now available FREE to all registered users

We just reconfigured the Event Announcements forum to be available as a free service for all registered forum users. See the thread stuck at the top of that forum for more information.
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Entrapped Epiglottis -surgery? Outcomes?

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  • Entrapped Epiglottis -surgery? Outcomes?

    Thought I might get better answers on the racing board than the event board but my event mare has this and while she's always had a mild problem, it may have just gotten worse. She had a mild gutteral pouch infection and while the vet was scoping her, he saw her "trap" the epiglottis and cough it back out. If she's doing it standing in the crossties, that's worse! She usually coughs 2-3 times at the first trot of the day, then not again for the rest of the ride.

    can anyone give any info about whether this is something that is likely to "progress" and get worse? How difficult is the surgery? Expense? Time to recover?

    Thank you

    (and I see from the Saratoga Posts and Barnfairy that she's in very good company with Mine That Bird).

    Since I'm in NH, the horse hospitals at my disposals are the new TNT Equine in Dover, NH and Tufts. Any comments on either?

    Thank you

    I hope I'm just worrying over nothing, but nothing like the COTH boards for thinking out loud and asking questions while doing the worrying.

  • #2
    i'd try the horse care forum, but i recall reading something that said results for all the various procedures ran about 60% success rate, but it is one of those conditions where "nothing" is also a good option.
    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


    • #3
      I would proceed very carefully. We have seen too many surgeries that had a less than optimal result-one horse we even had to put down. One of our adopted horses was going intermediate and was having some minor issues, she opted for the surgery and that got botched. Another has nerve damage and aspirates everything he eats or drinks now. I have seen successful ones of course, but if it isnt bothering her, I wouldnt go there........
      Be a part of the solution~ Adopt a thoroughbred!


      • #4
        really? on an ee? wow. pretty amazing, i'd think maybe on a paralyzed flap or any of the more invasive, tricky procedures, but that's some amazingly bad luck on an ee...
        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


        • #5
          Originally posted by DMK View Post
          really? on an ee? wow. pretty amazing, i'd think maybe on a paralyzed flap or any of the more invasive, tricky procedures, but that's some amazingly bad luck on an ee...
          I was thinking the same thing -- was that surgery for epiglottis entrapment, or a paralyzed flap....or maybe a myectomy for a flipped palate? I've definitely heard of myectomies going bad.

          Forgive me for repeating; there are a few different breathing disorder possibilities, and there is a good basic run-down of them in this article from the TB Times:

          Veterinary Spotlight: Clear the Air


          • #6
            My horse had an EE. It was so bad that if you fed him hay or grass he would have a coughing spell and it would come out of his nose. The surgery was very successful and uneventful but he needed to have off for 6 weeks. He also lost his whinny. The horse that could barely trot without coughing end up as a state champion.

            I had the surgery done by Dr. Sequist in VT. Can you go to him?


            • #7
              Originally posted by DMK View Post
              really? on an ee? wow. pretty amazing, i'd think maybe on a paralyzed flap or any of the more invasive, tricky procedures, but that's some amazingly bad luck on an ee...
              I agree with DMK on this one (just this one, tho ). I think the EE surgeries tend to be much more successful than surgeries on a flap.


              • Original Poster

                Thank you -

                I'm just beginning to venture down this road and I hope I don't have to do anything like this for her.

                She has mild paralysis of the left side of the larynx but we had no idea until we were looking for something else and hey, look at that.

                But forearmed is forewarned, right?

                Excellent article - including the guttural pouch implications.


                • #9
                  So your mare has two problems? Left lateral laryngeal hemiplegia (partially paralyzed left side of her larynx) which if it warranted surgery would require a laryngeal lateralization (aka tie-back), and an entrapped epiglottis which would require either a procedure with a hook (down) or a laser (standing or down) to fix if it was surgical.

                  The side effects (aspiration etc.) others are mentioning are more common after tiebacks and not the entrapment surgery.


                  • #10
                    The horse we had to put down was due to a botched EE.......very unusual and very sad.....learned my lesson there.... the others (aspirators) were paralyzed flaps.....I dont remember what the event horse had specifically, he had been adopted several years prior and I heard about if from a friend of the owner.
                    Be a part of the solution~ Adopt a thoroughbred!


                    • #11
                      Yes, the aspirators tend to have had flap surgery. We had surgery done on an EE mare who returned successfully to the races.

                      As a side note, KY Derby 135 winner Mine That Bird had surgery for an EE just a few days ago, and still plans to make the Travers Stakes in a couple weeks.
                      Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
                      Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
                      Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne


                      • #12
                        Just adding that I see you already knew about MTB having surgery this week.
                        Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
                        Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
                        Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne