"As we look at benefits as to the future diagnosis and treatment of the disease, a lot of it will hinge on the validation
of these two tests and how well those tests work to diagnose recurrent laryngeal neuropathy," Woodie says. "We will take a
group of horses that we know have the issue and see how well those two techniques prove that they have the problem." The next
step should be to look at a younger group of horses and try to follow them along.
"Even when you're tracking and following those younger horses, if you're looking at the natural progression of disease, a
lot of times the disease condition is not evident until they are 2 years of age or older," says Woodie. "And we could follow
a horse two, three years or more, and it may be a normal horse."
"I think right now we don't really know what sort of timeline the progress of the research we're looking at will take," says
Woodie. "Stage one, validating the two diagnostic tests, will be the first critical step. Depending on how that goes, the
rest of it will have to follow suit."
Cheetham and colleagues at Cornell have a great opportunity to solve a problem that has plagued racing horses for years. If
they can assess the early detection of recurrent laryngeal neuropathy and perfect the new diagnosis and treatment modalities,
it will surely benefit racehorses in the future.
Kane is a researcher and consultant in animal nutrition. He is an author and educator on nutrition, physiology and veterinary
medicine with a background in horses, pets and livestock. He is based in Seattle.