When we took Smokey to the vet (March 27, 2007) to analyze his exercise intolerance, they clearly diagnosed the problem as an advanced stage of roaring, which is a paralysis of a cartilaginous flap at the end of the trachea. This is a common problem for large thoroughbreds and is known as “laryngeal hemiplegia.”
During the examination, Katie & I could see the paralyzed flap through the endoscope.
It looked a lot like this endoscopic photo:
It’s correctible and here’s a description of his planned surgery: Laryngeal Laryngoplasty +/- Ventriculectomy
This surgery involves an incision being made either just behind the angle of the jaw or underneath the throat lash area. A strong prosthesis (i.e. 100lb nylon fishing line) is used to tie back the arytenoid cartilage in a partially open position. This position is then hopefully permanent.
After his surgery (on March 29th) at the Stillwater Vet Clinic (on Hwy 36 in Lake Elmo), Smokey will remain in horsy hospital for 3 days. Then Katie and I are going to take care of him at our house in Grant. His recovery period will be one month, after which time he can return to normal activity.