Oesophageal muscular hypertrophy and pulsion diverticulum in a Friesian horse

01 Sep 2020

Beaulieu, A., Stachewski Zakia, L., Ludwig, L., Kenney, D., Rätsep, E., Nykamp, S.

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A 13-year-old Friesian stallion was referred for evaluation of acute coughing and bilateral nasal discharge. Thoracic radiographs revealed dilation of the terminal portion of the oesophagus, forming a thin-walled outpouching containing soft tissue opaque material and gas. A diagnosis of oesophageal obstruction with an impacted diverticulum was made. Caudal oesophageal muscularis hypertrophy and an impacted oesophageal diverticulum were found on postmortem examination. Histological abnormalities included a thick caudal oesophageal tunica muscularis and an oesophageal diverticulum composed of mucosa, submucosa and adventitia. Muscular hypertrophy of the oesophagus with diverticulum formation should be considered in Friesian horses presenting with clinical signs of oesophageal obstruction. In this case, thoracic radiographs contributed to a premortem diagnosis, guided medical management and provided information on prognosis. Thoracic radiography can be used as a complementary test in the diagnosis of oesophageal obstruction when endoscopy is available and is a useful diagnostic alternative when endoscopy is not an option.