Heaves? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-21-2009, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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So the girls took my 21 year old cylde mare out on a trail yesterday and after some trotting and light cantering they noticed she was gasping a bit. My BO thinks it's possibly heaves and says medication will clear it up, but that sounds scary to me! does anyone have experience with treating an older horse? I am having the vet out this week to have a look at her and give her a check up. She seems very comfy lounging in the field and even the trot seems ok, they say it was the canter that produced the strange noises......any feedback is always appreicated! Thank you!
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-21-2009, 01:22 PM
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Wow, something like that could be anything from heaves, to a respiratory cold, to her just being out of shape, or any number of other things. I would wait until the vet sees her before getting too worried. It may be nothing more than a cold.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #3 of 21 Old 09-21-2009, 01:29 PM
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What kind of shape is she in?
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-21-2009, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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I admit she's not in the best shape....when we bought her last year she had been a pasture puff for a while. We have been trail riding her twice a week for the last year and a bit and doing general arena work to tone her muscles (the vet said that would help her arthritis, and sure enough, she does well on regular work.) Funny thing is it only started recently (less than a month ago) with the gasping after a run, so I hope the vet has some good news....just waiting for her to call back with an appointment for us.
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-21-2009, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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It's funny to think they get colds.....would that come with classic human cold symptoms, like sneezing, etc? It's just scary because it came on really suddenly, and I worry because she is older....
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post #6 of 21 Old 09-21-2009, 09:46 PM
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... could be allergies this time of year too depending where you are...
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-22-2009, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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I hope so...the vet will be with her in about 10 mins, I am sitting by the phone waiting for the call.....could not get the time off work to be with her :(
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post #8 of 21 Old 09-22-2009, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so not great news......she has a pulmonary problem, it is taking her longer to get air out of her lungs than normal, probably due to constriction. The vet prescribed a steroid and an inhalent and recommended we wet down her hay. If all else fails she can go on alfalfa cubes, but she is pretty positive that she will recover well on the meds. We can still ride her at a walk and trot, but not push her too hard, as sometimes she may not be able to work so hard.
Thanks for the responses everyone!
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-22-2009, 09:08 PM
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That is heaves.

You are not alone. A lot of horses have heaves. Mine was diagnosed this summer with heaves as well and put on Dex.

This is a life long, chronic problem and you'll be dealing with it again at some point.

I'm waiting for cooler nights here. Once autumn really sets in our pasture related heaves horses get better... until next summer....
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-22-2009, 09:23 PM
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Twist has heaves. and i have him very well managed. he has been med free for...a year in october actually! i really don't need to do anything now, i try to keep things as dust free as i can. quality grass hay, low amounts of alfalfa, and lots of air flow. if i do need to give him medecine he gets tri-hist. he HATES it, it is terribly bitter, but it works!

Marianne and Twist

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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