Grace (the girl who is leasing out Chloe) called on Friday to tell me that Chloe has heaves. I have owned Chloe for 10 years and she had coughed here and there when we got into heavy workouts but I didn’t think much of it because it was dusty. My horse trailer at the time was an open stock trailer and we would go down the gravel rode with it creating tons of dust inside- at shows she would cough during warm-ups but then would be fine.
Chloe was kept outside 95% of the time and the hay was as clean as we could get and was always fed outside (when she wasn’t stalled)… I’m just baffled that my girl could end up with it but looking back I guess I can see how with the dust that was everywhere.
When talking to Grace I asked what brought on calling the vet. A couple of weeks ago it was the county fair and if you show in the 4-H show you are required to stall during the fair. One night Chloe was found coughing really bad in her stall so they had the vet that was at the fair look at her. She didn’t have a fever, her nose wasn’t runny, no gunk in the eyes… she looked fine and they thought that maybe she just got some dust up her nose (dusty fairgrounds with the lack of rain this summer)…. Then when Grace was riding the other day she was pushing Chloe pretty hard and that’s when she started coughing bad. Grace cooled her down and called the Vet.
The vet is thinking that the heaves are set off from heavy dust. This year we haven’t gotten much rain and things are rather dry. The vet also thought that Chloe has probably had heaves for awhile but they just were never set off badly enough to really be noticed. When Chloe is at rest or even at a moderate pace she doesn’t huff or cough but once she is pushed into the lope/canter that is when her airways are affected.
The vet wants her on a no hay diet with clean grass (not in the dustier pasture out by the gravel rode) and only fed a complete pellet and use of medication like cough free to start with. She has set up for a nutritionist to come out and do a full evaluation on what we should feed Chloe to prevent her from becoming overweight (at this time the vet said she was 50lbs overweight…not bad but it doesn’t help). Since Chloe doesn’t have it really bad at this time we are lucky and hopefully by taking the hay away it will help a lot. Also no stalling on a regular basis- which isn’t a problem since she is on pasture 24/7.
But Grace won a state 4-H horse show trip this year and the show is in less then two weeks. We don’t want her to have any problems while we are there (it is at the mn state fairgrounds) she will be stalled 3 nights. Has anyone ever used air powder? I found it online and it looks like it is used to help performance by opening up the airways. Before I called the vet I was just wondering if it works.
Anyways I just had to get this off from my chest- I thought I was doing everything I could for my girl but I guess we all get surprises. Everything should be ok as long as we take the precautions. What are others experiences?