Left Recurrent Laryngeal Neuropathy

Last August, seven-year-old pacer, Dawn Magic was referred to the Camden Equine Centre with Left Recurrent Laryngeal Neuropathy (RLN), commonly known as ‘roaring’ or having a ‘wind problem’.

Dawn Magic’s larynx pre-surgery showing the left side (right side of image) of the larynx hanging down, paralysed unable to pull open for air

His racing performance had been declining and it had been noticed that Dawn Magic made a loud noise during exercise. An endoscopic examination showed that the left vocal cold was completely paralysed and obstructed the airflow.

The gelding underwent tie-back surgery and a standing laser ventriculo-cordectomy.

Senior Registrar Equine Surgery, Dr Christa Bodaan and Resident in Equine Surgery, Dr Victoria McIver, performed two surgeries with the goal of preventing a collapse of the vocal cord and increasing the diameter of the upper airway.

The first surgery, a ventriculo-cordectomy, was performed under standing sedation and involved using a laser to remove the left vocal cord and soft tissue obstructing the airway.

Dawn Magic with owner Peter Dawson

The second surgery, a prosthetic laryngoplasty or tie-back surgery, was performed under general anaesthesia. The outside of the throat was approached through an incision in the upper neck. Two prosthesis or permanent sutures were then placed in the left arytenoid cartilage into a permanently abducted, or tie-back and open position.

Post-surgery Dawn Magic was stabled for two weeks, had the sutures out after only 12 days by his veterinarian and returned back to training after eight weeks.

Both surgeries went without complication and Dawn Magic recovered well.

We’re glad to say, Dawn Magic’s owner Peter Dawson, advised he was returned so well to form that he won the Kubota Tractors Pace at Menangle earlier this month.


Pictured top: Dawn Magic with a comfortable lead in his recent race win at Menangle