Anyway. My suspicions have been raised even further as to the question of whether or not it really was heaves, because of something that's happening with my friend's horse right now.
Last fall, Beau developed a bump on his nose. It was very hard, it felt like bone underneath. My trainer had no idea what it was, but it went down within a week or two.
He also lost a bit of weight somewhere around late summer/early fallish I believe.
About a month or two after that is when he had his "asthma attack" and the coughing problems began. He's been coughing quite a bit ever since, productively at times, all through the winter (much better now, almost nonexistant) and ever since I first got him sometimes would cough 1-4 times in the beginning of a workout, but my old trainer never thought anything of it so I didn't know that was bad. She said it was just because of the (horribly dusty) arena, which definitely didn't help.
His breathing seems perfectly normal, never really elevated except when working, which is normal. He also will run and play pretty hard with the other horses with no problem.
Anyway, my friend Abby's horse Flicka now has the same bump on her nose in the same spot, is now losing weight although her feed/riding routine hasn't been changed at all, and has been coughing a little.
This leads me to believe that it isn't heaves, but rather an infection of some sort.
I've been thinking it could possibly be chronic pneumonia (bacterial; harder to spread) or something similar, since about 8 other horses have also been coughing on and off throughout the winter. There was one pony, Snickers, who had it almost as bad off as Beau did, and they share a field, so are together a lot. Then gradually, one by one, several other horses developed the coughing symptoms, though none got as bad as Beau.
He was on antihistamines, 3 rounds of antibiotics, steroids, cough syrup, bronchiodialators, you name it. Nothing really helped.
He's now getting a little bit of garlic (natural antibiotic) and oregano (helps with mucous in the lungs) in his feed and is really showing improvement.
Opinions? Advice? Anything?