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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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    08-24-2007, 01:14 PM

Hi my name is Cathy and I'm new to the forum. I have a quarter cross draft that I bought about 1 1/2 years ago. We bought him with a cough that we had checked by a vet and said that it was just a cold. Well here we are a year and 1/2 later and we are still dealing with the problem. We have tried numerous ways to keep it under control but it's just a persistent problem. He is now on a all natural herb called Hiscorbadyne made by Dynamite and that seemed to work for awhile but now it has returned. He can be ridden but only at a walk or a very slow trot. Cantering is out of the question as he goes into a coughing fit. Just wondering if anyone else has or is going through the same thing and any suggestions would be wonderful. Thanks, desperate to find " the cure." Cathy
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    08-25-2007, 09:22 AM
We had that, but it was only a cold, and only lasted a couple of weeks. It is a persisting problem with your horse, and he should be checked by a vet again I think.
    08-25-2007, 10:58 AM
Thanks Sparky, I agree. But what I'm wondering is if anyone else is having problems with their horses coughing this time of year. If it's associated with pollen or something in the air that other people are dealing with also. I live in Washington and it has been dry here. You're lucky that it was only a cold for your horse because this problem is extremely aggrivating but the poor guy just can't help it. I feel so bad for him. He looks perfectly normal and is just gorgeous ( well until he starts his coughing fit ) that's not too pretty.
Thanks again Sparky.
    08-26-2007, 11:28 AM
Update on my horses' coughing situation. I have contacted a licensed massage therapist and she came out and looked at him and observed him in a trot and canter so she could see what I was talking about. At a fast trot and canter is when he starts his coughing fits. She said that he is so muscular throughout the bottom part of his neck and really doesn't have much muscle up top and is very built-up in his chest. She said that she has worked on horses with heaves before and it's just a matter of working at it. She said not to do any collection work, but to do a lot of extended trotting and get him in better shape first of all. He has his first " real " appt ( hands on ) with her in a couple of weeks. I am so excited and want to know if anyone has had work of this nature done with their horse for any reason.
Thanks, Cathy
    09-04-2007, 11:51 PM
some experience

Hello, I had a horse years ago, a dapple grey arab/welsh gelding. He was fine till we got a load of clover hay or some with more frequent clover. We had 4 horses at the time and he developed a cough and grew to the point of nonriding. The vet said originally it was an aggravation and we should seperate his feed, wet his hay, etc. We did what we could. I think I read later that dapple greys can be prone. Not sure if that's fact. None of our other horses had anything near what he developed.

Coincidently, recently, I bought my neices walker/paint he had a cough, or developed one. I've only owned him for several months. Again (history repeats) we have another mare and two ponies and they have virtually no symptoms of cough. He got a one-tub steady of Equihist granules when she owned him, shortly before I bought him. I think it was end of year last year. It seems to have subsided, but I ride him more and he does have some bouts that come and go.

I think the Equihist is an antihistamine. My aunt (owns the mare) thinks a good burst, then back off and let his immune build up?? Wet the hay down. I've thought of the herbals, but I'm apprehensive. I'm playing it by ear. My paint/walker is a bit underworked, I think he may get stronger. I'm hoping. I was on here looking for info on heaves. I think he may have that and not emphysema. The dapple grey was diagnosed eventually with emphysema. I've used some vitamin/mineral supplements.

I welcome any comments from the experts here.
    09-04-2007, 11:55 PM
I know that where I ride they wet the hay for some horses because when hey breathe in the dust from the hay they cough.
    09-05-2007, 12:04 AM
heaves info

Here's what I was looking for to further my knowledge about heaves.

Here is a good link to help understand what heaves is and how it's managed.
Cindy D.
Registered Veterinary Technician
    09-05-2007, 12:26 AM
I know that where I ride they wet the hay for some horses because when hey breathe in the dust from the hay they cough
I think it is defintally a medical condition!!
    09-06-2007, 12:29 PM
Thanks you guys for your imput. I am going to ask my vet about the Equihist. I've never heard of it before. He has his massage therapy appt this coming saturday and I'm very excited. I have read a lot about heaves and what you can do to manage it and I am trying it all. Has anyone ever tried Benedryl? I have used that for when he got really sunburned last year and had swelled up on his chest. It seemed to help but I've never used it for his coughing. Just wondering. Thanks again and anymore input on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
    09-06-2007, 02:05 PM
My horse coughs a couple of times when I first ask him to trot when I first get on him to ride; we call it "getting the cobwebs out." After about 4-5 times, he doesn't do it anymore. He is also an older horse and I notice the older ones seem to do it more than the younger ones at our barn. But if he does this when just sitting in the stall or out in the paddock, it's probably a medical condition. Check your hay for dust/mold, it could be that he's inhaling that when he eats or he is eating it. That can cause them to cough for sure. I hope the therapist can find out what's wrong. If not, I'd definitely give the vet another call.

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