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This is a discussion on Heaves...Help within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Coping with heaves horse
  • Can horses react to fly spray

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    05-19-2010, 04:46 PM
Unhappy Heaves...Help

Hi all, Bourbon, my mustang has heaves.....from everything I've read. Dust really makes him cough, dusty hay must be soaked and if he is ridden for longer than about 45 min he coughs. I've been seeing some type of lumps on his stomach too, at first I thought it was fly bites right after the flies got bad here, but after making sure he was covered with fly spray and gnat away, the welts have gotten even bigger. I thought maybe worrbles(sp), but a vet tech checked and said that wasn't it either. Then I heard that along with the coughing a heavey horse will get hives? Yes/No any ideas would be greatly appreciated. The welts don't seem to bother him at all and they aren't open sores or anything I just don't like the way they look. Any info? Thanks!
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    05-19-2010, 04:50 PM
Green Broke
I would seek any actual diagnosis from your vet. There are plenty of things that can indicate a particular illness when the horse doesn't actually have that problem. Which causes me to wonder what the situation was that lead to a vet tech examining your horse w/out it being in conjunction with a vet's visit during which one would think it would have been discussed??
    05-19-2010, 04:56 PM
The vet is due out the end of this months for shots and yearly care, the tech is a good friend so until the vet comes I got her opinion. As long as I make sure to have really great quality hay and don't ride him long, we have no problems. The welts just showed up on Sunday.
    05-19-2010, 05:51 PM
It's very likely that you are dealing with allergies with or without heaves. Horses can react to topical treatments including fly sprays as well as to the biting insects. And horses with this kind of allergy are likely to be allergic to other things as well including pollens, molds, fungi, etc etc.

Horses with allergies may cough and such after eating hay or while working without actually having heaves.

Until your vet comes out for an exam, I wouldn't use the same fly treatment that you used previously. If possible use a fly sheet instead of any topical sprays. If not, use sprays very cautiously and watch for any reaction to them. If you see a reaction start, wash them off.
    05-20-2010, 09:30 PM
Some horses are allergic to fly sprays that have citronella in them. I have had 2 horses that got bumps from that type, but were ok with others.

And they both reacted to the dribble down their backbone type. Raised a swelling all the way down the backbone. So your bumps MIGHT be that. Or your horse laid on something he is allergic too, if it's only on the stomach. Hard to tell.

I had a horse with heaves. He was fine in cool weather. The heat bothered him. His breathing would get real rapid when he was too warm, so I had to pick what days to ride him. He did fine for years though. I only fed him on the ground, only quality hay, never dusty stuff. I didn't wet it.

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