Diagnosed with copd...

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Diagnosed with copd...

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  • Copd in horses diagnosis
  • Horse diagnosed with copd

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    09-14-2010, 07:09 PM
Unhappy Diagnosed with copd...

My girl was confirmed to have copd. I have started her on allbuteral twice daily. Gutted her stall and keeping her out as much a possible. I am soaking her hay. Question is has anyone done allergy testing and the allergin shots?? If so what was the outcome? Did they help? ANy suggestions would GREATLY be appreciated as, Im doing all I can to help her get her back to being "rideable" but Im still at a loss on how to go about this disease.
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    09-14-2010, 07:16 PM

May I ask... what is copd?

(beginner rider-sorry.)
    09-14-2010, 09:13 PM
Chronic obstructive pulminary disease or aka "heaves". Its basically really bad horsie asthma. That is uncurable, only "treatable".
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    09-14-2010, 10:27 PM
Allergy testing for COPD? Two different things, although I could see allergies making the COPD more difficult to manage in allergy season.
    09-14-2010, 10:30 PM
I never had my old gelding tested, but allergies can definitely make heaves/COPD much much worse. Red's worse time of year was when the corn started pollinating. It was pretty obvious that he was allergic to the corn pollen and it aggravated his heaves.
    09-14-2010, 11:31 PM
Allergies can also lead to COPD. According to the internal medicine specialist who teaches our equine medicine class, there is very little success rate with the allergy testing and shots, especially once the disease has progressed to the point where it is no longer reactive allergic airway disease and is diagnosed as COPD. It sounds like you're doing the best you can, she recommended everything you mentioned and I would add making sure you have her outside while the barn is being cleaned (lots of particulate in the air during stall cleaning).

Did your vet talk to you about prognosis? This is a chronic and progressive disease, the chances are, even if you get her back into riding condition now she will become worse over time. Some progress faster than others though.

COPD is starting to be recognized as two different syndroms: Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO) and Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD) in case you wanted to look up some more information on it.
    09-15-2010, 08:04 AM
Telamutt, my gelding died 3 yrs ago and he was diagnosed about 12 yrs before that. When that happened the vet recommended light regular exercise as long as he could handle it. Is that still a recommendation?
    09-15-2010, 10:41 AM
MN I'm so sorry to hear about that. You got 9 years more with him though, which is pretty impressive as far as this disease goes. The drugs and management that were available 12 years ago were likely different than today. That being said, without knowing your horse and the other reasons that light exercise might be indicated I can't really comment on his particular case.

In general now the recommendation is to avoid anything that causes an increase in distress. So if light work didn't seem to make things any worse than just being out on pasture then I can see why it might have been recommended. The key management schemes in a nutshell are use drugs (especially steroids and bronchodilators) to take out inflammation and open airways, and reduce sources of irritation/further inflammation as much as possible. Not sure if that answers your question, but I hope it helps.
    09-15-2010, 10:47 AM
Thought - If one does not know the trigger that irritates the condition how can they manage it?

From what I understand it is like people with asthma and there are forms that really cause no issues unless whatever it is that irritates the animal is present. So if the horse has allergy induced issues how could it not be prudent to determine what those allergies are?

If a horse has allergies to external environment items, it does not seem like the best long term care solution is being outside, etc.

And yes, I know the usually plan for dealing with COPD is horse outside, etc.
    09-15-2010, 10:54 AM
Telamutt, thanks I know that a lot has changed since he had been diagnosed. I know at the time the vet said that the thought was that light exercise helped open up their airways and strengthen their lungs.

He started out on Azium powder and eventually progressed to IV Dex shots. That stopped helping much towards the end and he got to the point where he didn't want to eat anymore, so we put him down before winter came.

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