Equine Respiratory Evaluations FAQs

Although the old saying is, “No foot, no horse,” it could easily be changed to, “No breath, no horse.” Horses need plenty of oxygen to perform at their peak. It’s just as vital to get a wind test or respiratory evaluation as it is to get a soundness evaluation.

Learn the facts about equine respiratory evaluations from Winner’s Circle Equine Veterinary Service, serving residents of Ocala, Cocoa, and New Smyrna Beach, FL.

What Happens During a Respiratory Evaluation?

A vet will go over your horse’s history and may ask you some questions. The vet will also do a hands-on examination. Your horse needs to be ridden or lunged in order to hear how he or she breathes during motion. Your horse may need to be fitted with a re-breathing bag to help the vet better hear how your horse is breathing. Your horse is then “scoped,” or given an endoscopic examination of the airways and soft palate. This involves inserting a tube with a tiny camera down your horse’s nostril.

How Long Is an Equine Respiratory Evaluation?

Respiratory evaluations from an equine vet can take at least an hour. They should never be rushed.

Do Horses and Ponies Need to Be Sedated for a Respiratory Evaluation?

Usually, they do not need any sedation.

Are Respiratory Evaluations Mandatory?

Most major horse auctions, especially thoroughbred auctions, require that horses be scoped before they are allowed to go up for sale. The results of the tests are then made available to all potential buyers.

What Kind of Breathing Problems Are Considered Medical Emergencies?

Contact an equine vet in Cocoa or elsewhere if your horse or pony:

  • Suffers a chest injury.
  • Has breathing difficulties that do not improve after one hour.
  • Shows breathing problems and a fever.
  • Starts making new noises when breathing, such as roaring.

Your Equine Veterinarian in Ocala, FL

If you have further questions about respiratory evaluations in horses and live in the Ocala, New Smyrna Beach, or Cocoa, FL, areas, contact Winner’s Circle Equine Veterinary Service at (706) 202-5476 or (386) 690-2016 to make an appointment for your horse or pony today.