Respiratory tract diseases can present with coughing (suggesting lung involvement), nasal discharge, breathing difficulty or poor exercise tolerance or athletic performance.
Usually such cases are examined in the field and treated symptomatically with a good response. Most commonly we see inflammation of the airways due to infection, allergy or dust exposure.
More detailed investigation may involve endoscopic examination to visualise the upper and lower respiratory tract and collect samples (such as a tracheal wash from the windpipe or a broncho-alveolar lavage or deep lung wash from the gas exchange areas of the lung) for laboratory analysis.
More rarely horses may require ultrasound scans and X-rays of the chest followed by collection of fluid samples from the lung and chest cavities or biopsies.
Image: Ultrasound scan of an tumour nodule in the lung