VETS at the University of Glasgow Equine Hospital have become the first in the UK to use equipment to look inside a horse’s airway as it gallops on a track.
The Dynamic Respiratory Endoscope (DRE) has a small camera that is passed up through the nose and into the horse’s respiratory tract.
It then beams back live pictures of the horse’s airway in action to vets who can assess the patient.
The revolutionary equipment was acquired by the university as a joint venture with one of the UK’s top racehorse trainers, qualified vet Mark Johnston.
Professor Sandy Love, director of the Glasgow Equine Hospital, said: “It will be used by specialists at the university’s Scottish Performance Horse Clinic to offer a range of diagnostic testing for all causes of poor performance including respiratory, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems.”
Previous technology could only be used on a horse running on a treadmill, but the new system allows for causes of poor performance and minute changes to be detected in horses in normal training.
Mr Johnston added: “The DRE will revolutionise what we know about horses when they are being exercised.
“Understanding the airway of a horse is the key to understanding so much more about them and how they function.”