Esophageal dysfunction in a weanling thoroughbred. Academic Article uri icon


  • A 6-month-old Thoroughbred colt was examined because of persistent dysphagia noted since birth. Moderately severe regurgitation occurred when the colt ate semi-solid food or drank. Complete esophageal impaction developed when the colt ate solid material. Endoscopic examination revealed ulceration, dilatation and lack of peristalsis in the area of the previous impaction. Barium esophagram demonstrated the dilatation in the area of the previous impaction. Esophageal manometry revealed prolonged simultaneous contractions throughout the esophagus suggesting the presence of a motor abnormality. The colt was maintained on a slurry of complete pelleted feed, but the esophageal dysfunction persisted until euthanasia at 17 months of age. Gross post mortem and histologic examinations showed no abnormalities in the muscularis mucosa, myenteric plexus, vagus nerve, or brain stem. The history, signs, and manometric findings suggested esophageal dysfunction in this colt. Motor disorders of the esophagus should be considered in horses with persistent dysphagia or recurrent episodes of choke and esophageal manometry can help characterize these disorders.

published proceedings

  • Cornell Vet

author list (cited authors)

  • Clark, E. S., Morris, D. D., & Whitlock, R. H.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Clark, ES||Morris, DD||Whitlock, RH

publication date

  • April 1987