Join Date: May 2009
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
My Dixie was diagnosed with heaves this summer. Her's is actually due to something in the pasture, so the more I keep her in the barn, the better she is. I've been able to let her out for about 2 hours a day, any more than that and we really have a setback. She is on Dexamethasone and Breath Ease, and is doing fairly well now.
I still feed her plenty of hay (to alleviate her boredom from being stalled). I got a hay net for her and really stuff it. But I DO soak all of her hay, thoroughly, actually dump the flakes in the water trough and completely cover it with water and let it sit 5 or 10 minutes before loading it to the hay net and then tying it up in her stall. I've also been feeding her soaked alfalfa cubes and have her on Nutrena Safe Choice pellet feed.
The good news with Dixie is... it's seasonal. As soon as the cooler, less humid days arrive we should see her back to normal.
I was really bummed out when I first discovered she had heaves. She was given to me (I've learned my lesson, even a free horse should be vetted). But she's been so good with her treatment, with being stalled, etc., that as long as I can manage her and it doesn't cost me an arm and a leg, I will keep her. The Dex is $20.00 for a bottle, and it lasts me a good month. I've not been able to get her off it, but she's getting 3cc in her food daily. I've tried going to every other day, but it really sets her back. I'm going to try the every other day again as the weather cools more. The Breath Ease was $120.00 at the vet, but someone on the forum posted a link to where I can buy it online for only $63.00.