Efficacy of thermal cautery for intermittent dorsal displacement of the soft palate as compared to conservatively treated horses: results from 78 treadmill diagnosed horses

Barakzai, S.Z., Boden, L.A., Hillyer, M.H., Marlin, D.J. and Dixon, P.M. (2009) Efficacy of thermal cautery for intermittent dorsal displacement of the soft palate as compared to conservatively treated horses: results from 78 treadmill diagnosed horses. Equine Veterinary Journal, 41(1), pp. 65-9. (doi:10.2746/042516408X330383) (PMID:19301584)

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Abstract

Reasons for performing study: Previously, objective comparisons of surgical procedures to relieve dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP) have been limited by the presumptive basis of the diagnostic measures applied. Objectives: To assess and compare the efficacy of thermal cautery surgery to conservatively treated controls in racehorses definitively diagnosed with idiopathic intermittent DDSP. Hypothesis: Both conservative and surgical treatments have a beneficial result on racing performance in racehorses affected with DDSP. Methods: Race records were obtained for Thoroughbred racehorses definitively diagnosed with DDSP using highspeed treadmill endoscopy. Racing performance was assessed based on prize money won. Results: Forty-eight horses that underwent thermal cautery and 30 conservatively treated controls were included. Pretreatment earnings significantly decreased in the race immediately prior to diagnosis. A high proportion of previously raced horses returned to racing after both treatments (90–96%). Intrahorse comparison of earnings in 3 races pre- vs. post treatment showed that 53% of conservatively treated horses and 36% of the thermal cautery group had improved performance. Although the difference between these 2 groups may be interpreted as being clinically significant, it was not statistically significant. Conclusions and potential relevance: A higher percentage of conservatively treated controls had improved individual performance compared to horses treated with thermal cautery. Thermal cautery appears less effective than other previously published surgical treatments for DDSP. Comparison of the 2 treatment methods should be interpreted cautiously because treatments were not randomised, resulting in baseline variability between groups.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boden, Dr Lisa
Authors: Barakzai, S.Z., Boden, L.A., Hillyer, M.H., Marlin, D.J., and Dixon, P.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Equine Veterinary Journal
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing
ISSN:0425-1644
ISSN (Online):2042-3306

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