Dealing with heaves? Tips, thoughts?
I have done searches on here and also the Internet but am just wondering if anyone else has any more hints or insight.
My new guy, Chilkoot, was diagnosed with heaves today by a vet. Honestly, I should have noticed (as soon as the vet pointed it out I was like "ohhhhh...") but I didn't. And no, I did not get a PPE due to distance to a vet and my/sellers schedules. I'm willing to invest some time and money into this, and want to learn as much as I can.
He has been in a small pen with a round bale for at LEAST several months, maybe a year. He does not have a heave line, but you do notice him breathing oddly even at rest.
He is at the vets until tomorrow or the next day (he went in to be gelded but they can't do it until his breathing is reasonable) and was given a steroid shot today and maybe one more tomorrow depending how his breathing is.
I'm seeing the sellers tomorrow to settle up paperwork and I will just straight up ask them how long he has had heaves. They didn't mention anything about it, but then again I didn't think to look for it either. It's possible they didn't know. I've personally never dealt with it and honestly didn't even think to see how he was breathing.
I'm hoping the sellers can tell me if it was old hay, if it had alfalfa in it by chance (vet said that's especially bad for heaves) and if Chilkoot's sire or dam have a history of heaves or allergies because apparently it can be at least partially genetic.
Then, he will probably be going onto pasture for a month. In the winter, however, we feed hay. Hoping that he will do ok on it if it is scattered out for him, vet said that for some horses a difference was made just by scattering hay on the ground rather than having them pull it from a round bale .. Otherwise I understand that I could look into a pelleted feed. How does that work though, don't horses NEED to have roughage to munch on through the day?
I'm really hoping it is fairly easily manageable. I can do SOME special treatment but overall am not in a position to have a too high maintenance horse (I work two weeks at a time away from home, then two weeks at home). This is also my very first ever experience with a purebred horse.. Good intro eh!? Haha! Kidding... The vet was optimistic though, ASSUMING it was just the hay, and said he would likely do fine with high intensity work so long as his environment is managed.
I've read about supplementing the diet with MSM and vitamin C as well.
Any tips or thoughts?? I wonder how a horse like this would do with work in an indoor arena...?
I'm going to try to manage this, but..... Always get a PPE!
I'd post a photo of him but I forgot to snap one! (he was SUCH a good boy at the vets. Maybe cause he couldn't breath hah)
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Last edited by SnowCowgirl; 08-27-2013 at 12:58 AM.