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Kansas State University

Equine Internal Medicine


Endoscopy is a procedure where a long camera is used to look in tubular organs. Most commonly a 1 or 3 meter (M) endoscope is used to look in the respiratory or gastrointestinal tracts. The 1 M endoscope can be used to evaluate the upper respiratory tract including the nasal passages and guttural pouches. In order to evaluate the lower respiratory tract or the esophagus and stomach a 3 M endoscope is used.

Some indications for the use of endoscopy are evaluations of horses with upper respiratory disease such as infection or inflammation, horses that make a noise with performance or horses with enlargement in the guttural pouch area. Horses that are suspected to have gastric (stomach) ulcers are commonly evaluated with the 3 M endoscope after a period of fasting to ensure that the stomach is empty at the time of examination.



Dr. Abra Wright and students doing an ultrasound

Ultrasound examination is a method of diagnostic testing that allows the veterinarian to examine internal structures in a non-invasive manner. High frequency sound waves are released from this instrument to allow for examination of various soft tissues, such as the lung surface, liver, kidneys and outer lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Ultrasound examination is a common procedure that is used for reproductive purposes to determine the size of ovaries and the characteristics of the uterus.



Dr. Bonnie Rush performing a CT


Computed tomography
This is a special imaging technique that can be used to examine the head or lower limbs of adult horses or most regions of a small horse or foal. The procedure uses cross section images that are reconstructed by a computer program to define various soft tissue and bone regions. Most commonly this is a technique that is selected for an area where conventional radiograph and ultrasound examinations are not effective for identifying the region of interest.



Horsing running on treadmill

High-speed treadmill
The use of the high speed treadmill is most common for horses with dynamic, athletic related issues. An example is a horse that has poor performance at high speed but at rest has a normal examination. By placing the horse on the treadmill we can examine the individual at speed, but in a controlled environment. Examinations that can be performed on the treadmill include videoendoscopy of the upper respiratory tract, blood pressure and cardiovascular evaluation or endurance related issues.