Equine Laryngeal Hemiplegia
Roaring • Equine Veterinary

From: Horse Ailments

See also: Horse Care

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Laryngeal Hemiplegia(Roaring)
Laryngeal Hemiplegia which is also known as roaring is the name given to a noise that can be heard when a horse is suffering from paralysis to one side of the larynx.

Cause of Laryngeal Hemiplegia Roaring
The exact cause of why the arytenoid cartilages which are either side of the larynx weaken or deteriorate in the first place is still unknown. The roaring noise is often heard when a horse has to deeply inhale, such as when galloping or otherwise exerting itself.

When the horse inhales the larynx is unable to sufficiently open to allow enough oxygen in to the lungs due to the cartilage and nerves on one side being paralysed, the noise comes from the paralysed area known as a artenoid flap, flapping or blocking part of the airways.

Diagnosing Laryngeal Hemiplegia
Diagnosis is achieved through an endoscope examinination.

Treatment For Laryngeal Hemiplegia
Horses who roar can be given an operation which involves permanently tying back the paralysed part of the artenoid flap, which therefore allows the airway to be permanently open.

The downside of this is that because the windpipe is open the horses can potentially allow food or water to enter the windpipe, although many horses adapt to the operation those that do not will have the operation undone.

Depending on what the horse is used for will greatly determine if the operation is necessary. Horses that suffer from laryngeal hemiplegia are in most cases not stressed by it, so it is more a question of performance.