Evaluation of laryngeal function under the influence of various head and neck positions during exercise in 58 performance horses

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Summary

The objective of this study was to examine laryngeal function at rest and during ridden exercise and to further analyse the impact of different head and neck positions on the laryngeal function in ridden sport horses. Fifty-eight Warmblood horses were examined endoscopically during ridden exercise as well as during quiet breathing at rest before and after sedation. Four different head-neck positions (unrestrained, reference, elevation and hyperflexion) were assessed during the exercise test. Laryngeal function was graded at rest and for every combination of gait and head and neck position during exercise. There was a significant correlation between the grade of laryngeal function during exercise and at rest both before (correlation coefficient = 0.794) and after (correlation coefficient = 0.741) sedation (P<0.01). No significant association was found between the grade of laryngeal function during exercise and the different head and neck positions.

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