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coughing

This is a discussion on coughing within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse coughing strech out neck
  • Hyscorbadyne

 
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    09-06-2007, 10:31 PM
  #11
Weanling
Good luck easypacer!!
     
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    09-07-2007, 11:02 AM
  #12
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easypacer
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.
That is really interesting. I had never thought of that. As long as I have owned him, my horse almost always coughs once or twice when we pick up the canter for the first time of the ride. After that he is fine. I never gave it much thought since it does not affect him negatively, but this gives me something to think about!
     
    09-11-2007, 09:52 AM
  #13
Foal
Update on Rio... my poor coughing guy. He had his 1st massage therapist appt. And it was very interesting. Rio was very uncomfortable at first, but relaxed and let her do her job. She gave me some exercises to do like stretching his neck not only down but up as well, stretching out his legs and standing to the side of him and rocking him back and forth waiting for his body to just follow the motion instead of moving his feet.
I waited a couple of days before riding him and rode him yesterday. He actually seemed to do better. Once again she said that his neck muscles are so tight because he has been protecting them all this time. We have been feeding him outside so maybe that helps also. Thanks for all your input on this matter.
     
    09-11-2007, 10:00 AM
  #14
Weanling
That so interesting Easy pacer!! So its a tighen muscel under the neck. Wow there you go, you learn sumthing new each day!!
     
    09-12-2007, 01:33 AM
  #15
Weanling
We have a 20 y/o QH that has COPD (we didn't know that when we bought him.) The first year we had him it was so bad that he had to be on steroids (prednisone) the entire summer. Since then (we've had him about 4 years now) we've been able to control it without meds. He is now being used 20-30hrs a week for Mounted Patrol.

You should keep your horse stalled as little as possible. It's best to have them in a pasture. (not a dry lot due to dust) wet down the hay and basically be aware of how he/she is feeling. Ie if they're coughing a lot, don't ride them excessivley, or do too much running.

The reason they cough at the trot or lope is due to the extra strain on the lungs (you have to breathe deeper and more often then to get enough oxygen to your muscles) and when you have COPD (or heaves) part of the lungs have basically died off and can no longer move.

I honestly have never heard of what your massage therapist says, and I would be a bit skeptical, and wonder if she is feeding me a line. (to get business) Everything I have read states the opposite and you should rest your horse, not work him more. I don't think the stretching will hurt him though.

Of course, it's your money, and if it works................
     
    09-12-2007, 11:01 AM
  #16
Foal
HI Txhorsemom... Thank you so much for your input. I hate to say it but it's nice to hear that I'm not the only one dealing with this problem ( unfortunately ) I agree with what you are saying about the massage therapy but we are willing to try anything to help him out. If she can get those muscles to relax maybe that would help ??
I called my vet to inquire about the equihist but he is on vacation until the 24 of Sept. When this all started back up I was letting him out to eat grass for a little while each day. Do you think it could possibly be the clover or even just the grass that started it up again? I have not let him out to eat grass the last couple of weeks. He is in a big pasture with minimal grass but not a lot of dust so we are feeding him outside also. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
    09-12-2007, 10:02 PM
  #17
Weanling
The grass and/or clover should not be the problem. Although horses also can and do have seasonal allergies. In our area, in the spring, pine pollen is a real problem. Our horses are literally covered in yellow dust (the pine pollen) from all the pine trees. Some of our horses are not bothered by it, but many get snotty noses from it. According to our vet it is allergies, and we don't treat it unless they develop secondary infections.

I would continue to let him be on the pasture and gain weight for the winter. It is traditionally difficult to keep weight on horses with COPD due to the extra calories burned from the coughing and working to breathe. (although you shouldn't let them get FAT either. That also makes it difficult for them to breathe due to the extra weight.)

Although I don't believe that the massage therapy will hurt your horse, I seriously doubt that it will help him with the COPD. It is the lungs that are injured not the neck muscles. It will NOT help him breathe any easier.

Now, I am NOT a vet. So I would certainly discuss any treatment/changes you do to your horse with him/her. Your vet should know what is best for him.
     
    11-15-2007, 11:28 AM
  #18
Foal
update on coughing

Hello, I just had to update all on my coughing horse. Again, our other 3 horses are fine with what we are feeding, both hay, pasture and a few oats in the morning and evening.

I must correct myself when I was referring Equihist, it's Tri-Hist. I've noticed that KV Vet also has something similar but maybe not as strong Ani-Hist and another -Hist product.

I called the vet to see if I could give him Cough-Free, she said it's all natural and would be okay to supplement the tri-hist. I don't like to give him so many meds. It's just a totally perplexing situation when the other horses don't have the same symptoms.

He's been on both, mainly the tri-hist as it's the only thing that seems to quiet him on a bad day. And there are definitely good and bad days. Sometimes it seems like he has just about kicked it and other days I have to get off of him or stop lead-walking him cause he coughs so.

Long story short, we were due for another load of hay and we got some very clean, 90% grass, 10% alpha/timothy and his cough has virtually stopped.

Hay prices have gone up and personally I feel the quality has gone down. We got a pretty good load, and then committed (for fear we may not be able to find another hayman) to the remainder of our winter needs. His truck broke down and we went and got a 30 bale load. Wow, what filthy hay, not at all like the 1st load. The 1st load looked very good in the mix, but after we got into it more, we found 12 bales molded and another 10 that HAD to be watered down. So we fed the dirty hay, watered it down when it was bad, and now have our 200 clean bales for the winter. :) I'm so happy, he's seems happy too.

Curious that this on this one, the cough was directly related to the hay quality. On my childhood dapple grey horse that we gave the tri-hist daily, and ended up not being able to ride at all near the end he was almost immediately diagnosed with emphysema. Spose it could have been any number of factors. Outside of taking your horse in and have a complete body scope, it's hard to know if they might have a growth on their airways, or was exposed as a foal to something that weakend their immunity as they matured. Theres hundreds of factors that could come into play.

I search and search for solutions, other similar experiences from other people. Whether or not he has copd or heaves, I'm not sure. One of the most helpful things that sunk in was controlling the environment. THANKS, to whomever posted that!! They have their nose in dirt (on pasture) and in hay just about 99% of their day. I think our other 3 handled it, but still wasn't very good for them. My paint just didn't have that extra umph to combat all the dust. Keep their stall clean (amonia) and don't pile the manure near their barn area. Watch the hay.

Hope this helps, I too am open for comments. This whole cough and process started around Jun-Jul 2007, I was just about at my wits end and ready to accept his condition. Don't give up, find the one element that makes it easier on him...

Amy
     
    11-15-2007, 12:25 PM
  #19
Foal
HI Amethgr8
My husband and I are totally convinced that it IS allergies. I have been able to work Rio a consecutive 12 times now with virtually NO coughing. He is an amazing horse when he is feeling good. What a difference in attitude and overall willingness to work. I still take it easy with him in fear that it will send him into another coughing fit ( as I'm sure you can relate to ) He too was diagnosed with Emphazemia. It's funny because my husband has allergies also and we look back at when they were both bad, and it was at the same time. Who knows what spring will bring, but I will look into the Tri-hist. He is still on the Hyscorbadyne from Dynamite and a good supplement and also Pro-bios everyday. We are afraid if we change anything then we'll lost control of it again. It is a frustrating battle but we love him very much and will do anything for him.
Thank you for writing again. Cathy
     
    11-28-2007, 11:42 PM
  #20
Foal
Possible help...

Hi Easypacer,

I have a horse with asthma/heaves. I have found that sometimes less is more, what I mean by that is I found by detoxing my girl using homeopathics, she expelled a lot of mucus and toxins and is now breathing a lot easier. Also, I have found accupuncture on her has been very effective and they get so much relaxation while it's being done!! I have also been told recently to try a round of super stress by Dynamite as my girl had a set back due to a course of anti-biotics (for a wound) which totally screwed up her breathing.

Also, vitamin C is a great addition to the diet for horses with asthma/heaves for the immune system, if your horse will eat fresh oranges, I feed my girl half an orange at a time (peeled) when she is having her 'bad' times, which are much fewer and less severe nower days (she's nearly 18) and she loves orange!

Hope some of this helps, it's quite a difficult illness to control, but hopefully by sharing things that work, we will all benefit, right?

Hannah
     

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