Heaves? - Page 2

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    09-22-2009, 11:33 PM
What test did your vet do to diagnose the pulmonary problem? I'm at a loss with what's going on with my horse and your case sounds similar to a degree.
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    09-23-2009, 09:43 AM
Do you still ride your horse? I am terrified to ride her and push her too hard, I keep having nightmares of her dropping in the field :(
    09-23-2009, 09:44 AM
I wasn't actually there when it was performed, by BO helped the vet (could not get time off work) I will ask and post an update over the weekend.
It actually sounds fairly manageable, it's just hard since she is older and is already taking glucosamine for her arthritis...
    09-23-2009, 11:01 AM
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).
    09-23-2009, 11:55 AM
Thanks for replying, that is very reassuring! The vet said we are ok to ride and she actually needs it to keep her muscles going. We don't do anything nuts (her being huge and me being 7 months pregnant.) I am considering switching her over to Alfalfa cubes because the dusty hay will not be helping her cause I would imagine....
The vet never said anything about dex, can you get it over the counter at a tack shop? What is the full name for this product please? Sorry to be a pest!
    09-23-2009, 06:58 PM
Dexamethasone. It is a prescribed steroid, used to control inflammation. You have to get it thru your vet.
    09-24-2009, 09:41 AM
Thank you very much!
    09-24-2009, 11:00 AM
My TWH gelding was diagnosed with heaves when he was like 13-14. Our vet actually told us that riding him was good for his lungs as long as he wasn't having an actual episode. He was ridden for about 10 years after that. No competition or anything, but he enjoyed a good race on the trail. That horse LOVED to run. Anyways, he just died last year at 27 years old, so it isn't the worse diagnoses. Especially if you follow your vet's management ideas.
    09-24-2009, 01:42 PM
Well that's good to hear, I got all freaked out because I googled it and it said Healthy Clydes only live about 25 years.....mind you she is a Clyde/TB. She actually really does enjoy a trail ride, and is very happy to trot and canter with the rest of a group.
    09-24-2009, 06:07 PM
I agree with MN Tigerstripes. As long as your horse is not having an episode of heaves, you can ride. I also agree that riding, or exercise in general, will most likely be beneficial to the horse and help with their over all condition, including their lung capacity/function.

I'm getting excited to start riding Dixie. We are coming into the fall weather and she's not nearly heaving at all, so pretty soon it should be okay to wean her off the Dex and start working her a bit.

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