Equine Respiratory Endoscopy & Gastroscopy

Veterinary Services

Equine Respiratory Endoscopy

Upper and lower airway disease is a common cause of poor performance, particularly in high performance/high-intensity disciplines such as racing, eventing and polo. Equine respiratory endoscopy is very much part of routine veterinary care of racehorses, particularly during and after exercise. We perform standing endoscopy on many horses on a routine basis. Our Vets are on the Epsom Downs most mornings checking horses coming back from exercise. We will also collect samples that are promptly analysed. In addition, we can arrange ‘over ground’ equine endoscopy to assess horses whilst they are exercising. This relatively new technique is fully mobile and can be performed on your yard.


It is not uncommon to have a high-performance horse that is described as ‘making a noise’. There are a variety of different causes of this, the most common of which is a condition called laryngeal hemiplegia. This is a progressive condition that normally affects the right side of the larynx. This problem is thought to originate from pathology related to a nerve called the right recurrent laryngeal nerve. The condition can affect performance as the horse cannot intake sufficient oxygen, particularly at higher speeds. The condition can be diagnosed by endoscopic evaluation of the airway which involves passing a ‘scope’ into the throat of the horse. This is performed un-sedated and is relatively well tolerated. Surgical treatments such as a ‘tie-back’ are available, these procedures are aimed to expand the size of the airway to allow better airflow into the trachea. Evaluation by any of our experienced vets could be worth considering if you suspect an abnormality.

To find out more about equine endoscopy procedures, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team today.

Equine Gastroscopy

Horse gastroscopy usually involves the insertion of a flexible video endoscope to allow direct examination of the horse’s stomach lining. Most commonly, they are carried out to diagnose stomach ulcers, but can also be used to help diagnose unknown causes of weight loss, tumours and impactions.

The procedure involves using a flexible video endoscope which allows direct examination of the horse’s stomach lining.

 It is carried out under light sedation and will not hurt your horse.

Usually, a Vet and an Assistant will carry out the procedure.

As we carry our own equine Gastroscopy equipment, this procedure can be carried out at your yard, thus eliminating the need to travel to a clinic.

If equine gastroscopy or endoscopy is a procedure you are considering or want to know more about, please get in touch with the office as there are a number of things you will need to do to prep your horse for this procedure.