Coverage of the Merial Raceday - York 2017

Over 40 vets from around the UK attended the continuing professional development event titled ‘How to optimise the respiratory effects on performance’ at York Racecourse this May. The event, organised by European Trainer Magazine and Merial Animal Health, featured a panel of expert speakers and was co-sponsored by Connolly’s RED MILLS and Haygain. Louise Jones BSc, MSc attended the seminar and reports on the key messages as follows.

Functional Significance of Upper Airway Obstructions - Dr Kate Allen

Dr Kate Allen, from Langford Vets, commenced proceedings, explaining that whilst upper airway obstruction (UAO) is second to lameness as the most common cause of poor performance, it is difficult to quantify its significance on athletic performance.  

UAO is caused by a narrowing of the airways, often as a result of the collapse of the varying upper airway structures. However, Dr Allen emphasised that it is a complex condition and in almost half of the cases involves the concurrent collapse of multiple structures.

Horses suffering from UAO initially attempt to maintain airflow by increasing inspiration time and decreasing respiratory frequency. However, if this is unsuccessful then the amount of oxygen available for the muscles to work effectively will be reduced, resulting in impaired performance. The degree to which athletic performance is affected, especially in the elite horse, will obviously depend on several factors, including:

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