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This is a discussion on Coughing within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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  • 1 Post By usandpets

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    07-15-2012, 12:51 PM

So when I go ride my girl she starts to cough after a while. Sometimes she doesn't start coughing until we are both dog tired and sweating like crazy, but sometimes she just starts coughing hard for no real reason. The hay she is currently getting is pretty good stuff. It is fresh grass hay and has no dust or mold. Should I be worried? I don't think she has a cold, she doesn't have a snotty nose or anything, she just randomly starts coughing super hard. If it doesn't subside soon I am planning on taking her to the vet soon anyways for an annual checkup. But is there something I could try now to get it to subside?
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    07-16-2012, 02:11 AM
My guy coughs sometimes as well during rides. I take that as a cue to stop.

Are you riding her inside? Or out?
Is her stall musty?

As long as your hays nice and she has access to fresh air all day. I'd say your probably riding her too hard.

Start light and work your way up.
    07-16-2012, 02:24 AM
My guy starts coughing sometimes on his own. I normally let him stop, finish coughing, then continue...But I suspect he is more of a dust thing than anything else, interested to see what anyone says.
    07-16-2012, 04:47 AM
I dunno guys... My boy started with a very mild, occasional cough and in a short period of time it progressed to him almost dying from pneumonia. :( Needless to say, I've done some research into this area now and ~anytime~ a horse coughs for more than a day or two it should probably be checked out. I realize that my old boy getting pneumonia is kinda rare, but even if it's just allergies I still think it should be checked out. From what I've read, horses lungs lose elasticity and function (scare tissue develops and lung walls thicken) the longer their coughs go untreated. So if you're concerned about the longterm athletic performance of your horse, it might be a good idea to have it checked.
    07-16-2012, 05:41 AM
Green Broke
If the horse is not in steady work, it is probably just mucus getting dislodged and coming out. If the horse is worked steadily or daily, definitely have the vet out. Very possible the horse has allergies or even the start of heaves.
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    07-16-2012, 05:55 AM
There's a great article about this, and it details the differences between coughing while at rest and coughing during exertion - and yes, they're both bad enough to warrant a vet check even with a minor dry cough. Here's a link. You can jump to the subtitle (chapter) "Inflammation of the small airways."
    07-16-2012, 12:04 PM
I have two horses that have bad coughs, I have them on Silver Lining: Respiratory Support and no coughing. And the morning of a barrel race I give open guy a little concoction of his SL and a Canadian product called ZEV and he doesn't cough once after a run. My older gelding (who a friends daughter rides) gets just the ZEV that morning. They are the only two on the place that cough.

BUT if it is dry, smokey, dusty, ect some of the others will have a little cough here and there. We live in a very dry part of the state and that can cause a horse to cough sometimes as well.

So I would consider calling your vet and seeing what they say...
    07-16-2012, 12:10 PM
She only does it while riding, she is outside 24/7, and when she starts coughing during a ride I just stop for about five minutes and get off to stretch and let her get her bearings. I will call my vet today and ask him what he thinks. Thank you for the article too :)

Us and pets, I just recently started riding her on a schedule again. I was riding her on and off while she had her foal, but no steady exercise. We will just take it easy for a while!
    07-16-2012, 12:30 PM
I've read that recovery EQ works well for coughs too, and I've been thinking about getting some. Have you tried it?

But seriously, I'd call the vet out either way. I really thought my boy had allergies at first and his symptoms were so minimal... I didn't think much of it and neither did my first vet... WRONG!
    07-16-2012, 09:51 PM
My horse Shaggy coughs when I first trot him when I ride. He does it cause of reaction he had to the pollen back in april. He only does for a few minutes in the trot then he's ok. =)

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