HELP! I'm freaking out! My new horse has a heave line! Does it mean she has heaves? Will she be okay? What should I do? Can I still ride her? Will she die? Does this mean she has heaves? Posted via Mobile Device
That may not necessarily be a heave line. A heave line is usually quite pronounced. There is a bit of a line normally as that is part of the structure of the muscles for breathing. They become more developed when the horse has to push air out to exhale.
Welcome to the Forum.
Does she have any other problems?
How long have you had her?
Is there any dust in her hay?
Does she cough when she is worked?
Is her breathing labored?
More information is needed her to help you evaluate her situation.
I have rode her 3 times and I purchased her Friday. Her previous home actually didn't give her hay. Our hay is really nice T/A . I gave her a really hard workout yesterday and she didn't cough but her heave line was really standing out more then usual. Every time she would exhale it would stick out a lot! Posted via Mobile Device
'Heave Line' is created by the abdominal musculature, however it is not the only thing seen in a 'heaves/heavy' horse. A horse with heaves or COPD/RAO essentially has allergic reactions to mold/dust in hay/barns/etc. They usually have a few common clinical signs: cough a few times when warming up during riding which stops after they are a little warmed up, a clear or slightly opaque nasal discharge at the onset of coughing or while eating, they may cough while eating hay - especially dusty or moldy hay, and they have a 'heave-line'. The 'heave-line' is important to differentiate from normal hard breathing - it is actually a double expiration. Basically, they exhale a normal amount (showing the line especially when out of shape) and then they have another short exhale after that to expel the extra air in their lungs which cannot escape as in a normal horse because of the smaller/inflammed airways. If you carefully observe your horse, you will be able to differentiate an out-of-shape horse from a horse with 'heaves'.