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heaves? advice?

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    09-12-2012, 10:33 PM
She stands at the round bale and eats. I also am a little unsure about the vet saying that he didn't think he needed to see her at this point, but I'm willing to give some management things a shot first and then demand he come out if it doesn't help. Thank you guys so much for the support and advice. I guess my plan of action for now is that I have already asked to switch to square bales. That will happen as soon as the BO picks up the square bales (2 days I think). I'm going to re-evaluate in a few days as to whether the square bales need to be soaked first based on the symptoms. She has already been started with staying out at night.. IF all symptoms stop once she's on the square, I will be relieved, if not I'll go to the soaking...and if that doesn't help, will call the vet. It is so hard not having her at home so that I can drop everything and change her routine that quickly. I feel terrible telling my barn owner how to do things and that she needs to change her whole routine. I know it's her job and it's my horse and that I'm paying for it, but she has a baby and is busy...I just wish it was my burden!

Anyway...does that seem reasonable or is it stupid to even try not soaking? For today obviously it was not soaked but I'll be thinking about changing that tomorrow when I check on her. I've been trying to think this through little by little and trying not to jump into panic because of a phone "diagnosis" that nobody here other than me seems to think is a big deal! I'm just a worried horse mommy trying not to be a crazy lady. It's hard sometimes as I'm sure most of you know!
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    09-12-2012, 10:49 PM
She needs to get off the roundbale, period. Even forking some roundbale hay and spraying it with a hose is better. Don't know the pasture /paddock situation, is she with others? Would it be possible to get her a paddock for herself? At least until the square bales arrive.
Could you help out the BO somehow? Like soaking the evening hay in the morning and vice versa? That way all she would need to do is dump the water. I'd talk to her.

As for squares fed dry, right now its important that her airways recover. And since any hay is dusty, feeding it wet would really help.
    09-12-2012, 10:56 PM
Having had a horse with heaves in past the best thing for them is being outdoors24/7. Things like staying in barn & round bales exacerbate things.There are many new drugs out there that can help symptoms. If it is truly heaves that is same as COPD in humans,which can be managed in early stages but lung damage is there, little can be done to reverse that.Horse can have exacerbation's brought on by feed,dust, exercise, ammonia fumes{from barn life}

Edited to add: if feed is at all dusty wetting it down helps. A grass hay is also better than alfalfa{too many fine leaves}
    09-14-2012, 07:56 PM
She's on square bales now. I'm going out tomorrow to talk to the BO about soaking hay. She's in with other horses, but only a few. I hope that it really just isn't heaves and that the vet is mistaken...but that's probably wishful thinking. I can't help the BO at all. I work upwards of 55 hours a week, and am in graduate school, and becoming a certified therapeutic riding instructor. Thank you guys for your advice...I will keep you updated.
    09-14-2012, 08:27 PM
Oh, you could easily do a couple more jobs....
Just kidding, of course.
Anyway, I don't think soaking would be possible since she is with others. If your BO can at least visually inspect the flakes and maybe shake them out a bit before giving them to the horses? I'd go from there.

Thing us, you'll have to nip it in the butt as early as possible to avoid further damage.
Good luck and yes, keep us updated
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    09-14-2012, 09:05 PM
Green Broke
You really don't need to "soak" the hay. It just needs to be moistened by spraying water on it
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    12-27-2012, 01:11 AM
Please listen to what I tell you.the wheeze is a sign more then a cough.It means your horses airways are constricting, and that most likely air is being trapped in the little air sacs inher lungs. If you do not get VERY proactive you are liable to harm your horse beyond repair.
Get her off round bales. Soak her hay for a little while..maybe do it 2 weeks. Do not just spray it..soak it for at least 1/2 hour. I do much longer then that.
My horse started off a lot like yours. I minimized it..as to try and manage her differently then the others is almost impossible.
Eventually the time will come when a mild "flare up" would be welcomed My horse progressed to RED flared nostrils, fast labored breathing, abdominal breathing with double push, quit eating, and just standing there, along with a call to inquire about euthanasia
Do not minimize this..it can be managed and then no more damage will occur. If you just wait and see your horse may progress to my horse.
I had called the vet. I didnt want to do DEX but figured I had no choice. Put her on smz, dex, and located a nebulizer and albuterol. I soaked her hay, blamketed her and thew her out of the barn, gave her recover shots, dex shots, and antibiotic shots when the smz didnt seem effective. I gave her nebulizer treatments 2 to 3 times some days. Always at least one. I mixed up sterile saline and nebuliuzed that with her albuterol. Her flared nostrils went down. The red changed back to salmon color, her wheeze took awhile but it went away..and about 2-3 weeks after this very aggressive treatment, she is doing wonderful. I think we will beokay. You have caught this early, if it is heaves you can manage this early and not go thru what we did
    01-06-2013, 06:06 PM

I bought a horse this fall and didnt find out till just recent that she has heaves. I called a vet and now she is on medication for 10 days and I had to change her to alfalfa cubes for now. But apparently she has had this for a long time, she is 10.
    01-06-2013, 07:26 PM
If she is standing with red flared nostrils and obviously in respiratory distress I SWEAR by albuterol treatments. They are what saved my mare.
My girl was almost beyond considering saving. The nebulizer treatments have done a miracle on her. Sh eis now eating regular hay and hasn't needed another treatment in weeks. There is hope..do not give up.
    01-06-2013, 08:02 PM
I agree with the medication my horse on thursday sounded like she was having an asthma attack and 2 days later no coughing and she sounds great
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