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This is a discussion on COPD. within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Bute and copd
  • Bute for horses with copd

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    07-28-2008, 09:46 AM

Ugh. I've been having a crappy weekend. On Saturday I rode my horse, Sarge, in a lesson. It was hot and we were jumping out in the field with lots of galloping. But it's nothing he hasn't done before. But it took him over an hour to cool down and stop breathing hard. Then later I had to work so I went to check on him before I started. He was breathing harder than normal but I just shrugged it off thinking he must have been running around the pasture. Later I went to turn him in and he was still breathing hard. So then I was worried. I tied him up while we fed the other horses to see if he'd cool down. When we were done I walked him around and he was breathing harder than normal. Trotting a few feet makes him breath harder than he should. So we turned him out in a pasture by himself, gave him a bute, and wetted down his hay. Yesterday I worked as well. I got him out in the morning and still thought he was breathing harder than normal. So the vet is coming today at 12 to check him out.

I've been reading and I think it sounds a lot like COPD. How do you deal with that disorder? I'm training him for lower level eventing and I hope that won't be too stressful on him once he gets treatment...
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    07-28-2008, 01:01 PM
The biggest part of dealing with COPD is managing the horse's environment to minimize airborne irritants. You want to minimize dust, fungi, molds, etc. so turnout is very important because these things build up in barns and stalls. Though if you are dealing with summer pasture associated heaves turnout should be in a dry lot.
Also, soaking hay---actually serviing it soaking wet---is a big deal because everytime a horse eats hay they are sticking their noses in a major source of irritants. Changing to a complete feed or pelleted forage is also a good idea to help minimize exposure to irritants in hay. It takes days to get over a single exposure to an irritant.

Treating attacks asap is also important because attacks can lead to permanent narrowing of the bronchiolles. Steroids and bronchiodilators should ideally both be part of treatment as neither alone deals with everything that is going on in the lungs during an attack. Keeping these on hand to treat immediately is a good idea.
    07-29-2008, 09:28 AM
Excellent information there! I hope your horse is feeling better, nothing like an asthma (copd) attack to make you feel rotten. I would only add to this= keep him calm-stress and anxiety can make it worse.

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