Guttural pouch tympany

Attention! This is a potentially life-threatening condition for your horse. Time is of the essence, contact your veterinarian immediately.Find a Vet

Guttural Pouch Tympany

Guttural pouch tympany (GPT) is a rare condition of foals that usually occurs within a few days of birth. It is thought to result from a congenital malfunction of the pharyngeal opening of the pouch, as opposed to a physical obstruction. GPT most commonly affects fillies more than colts, with Arabian breeds being most susceptible. The disorder usually occurs unilaterally.

The guttural pouch, or diverticulum of the auditory tube, extends downward from the base of the skull and the atlas and opens within the nasopharynx of the horse.
Location of horses guttural pouch
It is lined with a thin mucous membrane and divided by the stylohyoid bone into medial and lateral components.

GPT can be fatal without surgical treatment. Even with surgical treatment, the horse can potentially develop postoperative pharyngeal neuromuscular dysfunction.


Large, nonpainful swelling
Difficulty swallowing
Respiratory Noise
Difficulty breathing


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Endoscopy
  • Radiographs



Decompression via catheterization of the affected guttural pouches
Surgery - fenestration of the median septum



Good if surgically corrected and occurs unilaterally. Guarded for surgical correction of bilateral guttural pouches.

Scientific Research

General Overviews

Age Range

Fillies are more likely to get GPT than colts with a ratio between 4

Also Consider