Join Date: May 2009
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
You mare should be okay. Dex is pretty good. If you can ride her now, you should be able to continue, as long as she's not coughing a lot or really struggling to breathe, she'll be fine. Arthritis is not related and the glucosamine is not the same as the Dex. Although the Dex will help with inflammation in her joints as well, so that's probably a plus.
I haven't ridden Dixie yet. I just got her. I was waiting for her to adjust to the barn, etc., then summer was here and she couldn't breathe. As soon as she's back to "normal" I'm going to ride her. I don't ride hard, just putz about the field a bit, but still would like to ride her.
The diagnosis heaves by a general physical and listening to the lungs. In some cases they will scope the horse to look into the lungs and take samples of the mucus, but in most cases they can diagnosis very easily by listening to the breathing sounds.
FYI, most folks around me that have heaves horses have found that using 5cc of Dex one day, then 3cc the next day, and rotating like that, works the best to control it. In my area, everyone deals with the Summer Pasture Related heaves (SPROPD = summer pasture related obstructive pulmonary disease).