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Use of tongue ties in thoroughbred racehorses in the United Kingdom, and its association with surgery for dorsal displacement of the soft palate
  1. S. Z. Barakzai, BVSc, MSc, CertES, DiplECVS, MRCVS,
  2. C. Finnegan, BSc,
  3. P. M. Dixon, MVB, PhD, MRCVS1,
  4. M. H. Hillyer, DiplECVS, PhD, DipECEIM, CertEP, CertEM, CertES, MRCVS2 and
  5. L. A. Boden, BA, BVSc, MACVSc, PhD, MRCVS3
  1. 1 Division of Veterinary Clinical Science, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter, Bush Veterinary Centre, Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9RG
  2. 2 Newmarket Equine Hospital, Greenwood Ellis & Partners, 166 High Street, Newmarket CB9 9WS
  3. 3 The Boyd-Orr Centre for Population and Ecosytem Health, University of Glasgow, 486 Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH
  1. safia.barakzai{at}


The prevalence of the use of tongue ties, calculated from 60 randomly selected race meetings held in the UK during 2001 to 2003, was 5·0 per cent. After its first use on an individual horse a tongue tie was used in an average of 77 per cent of its races during the first 12 months, but after this time period, in only 55 per cent of its races. Thirty-nine per cent of horses that underwent surgery for dorsal displacement of the soft palate raced with a tongue tie preoperatively, and 41 per cent of these surgical cases raced with a tongue tie postoperatively.

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