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Performance after Partial Arytenoidectomy without Mucosal Closure in 27 Thoroughbred Racehorses

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To examine the effect of partial arytenoidectomy without mucosal closure on postoperative racing performance and long-term complications in Thoroughbred racehorses treated for laryngeal hemiplegia, arytenoid chondropathy, or failed laryngoplasty. Study Design

Retrospective study. Animals

Twenty-seven Thoroughbred racehorses. Methods

Medical records of Thoroughbred racehorses that had partial arytenoidectomy without mucosal closure between 1992 and 2002 were reviewed. Horses were divided into groups: horses that had not raced (Group 1) and those that had raced (Group 2) before surgery. Lifetime race records were compared between groups. A standard starts index (SSI) and performance index (PI) were used for Groups 1 and 2, respectively, to objectively evaluate each horse's postoperative performance. Telephone interviews of owners and trainers were used for subjective performance evaluation and to determine prevalence of long-term complications. Results

Eleven (61%) Group 1 and 7 (78%) Group 2 horses raced and earned money after surgery. All Group 1 horses that raced performed at a level lower than the national average. Only 1 Group 2 horse had an improved PI score postoperatively. Conclusions

Thoroughbred racehorses have a fair prognosis for racing successfully after partial arytenoidectomy without mucosal closure. Clinical Relevance

This technique may be a practical alternative to primary mucosal closure, would decrease surgical time, and avoid some problems reported with primary mucosal closure.
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Keywords: Thoroughbred; arytenoidectomy; horse; laryngoplasty; race performance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From Peterson and Smith Equine Hospital, Ocala, FL.

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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