Horse has heaves and is boarded - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-25-2013, 01:15 AM
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Sorry just reading up on things I should know. What is this disease? What causes it? Is there a way to prevent it? And what does it do?
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-25-2013, 12:55 PM
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Sorry just reading up on things I should know. What is this disease? What causes it? Is there a way to prevent it? And what does it do?
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It's like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in people. The airways & lungs don't work so well & it can be hard to breathe. The airways get smaller & there can be areas of the lungs that can't exchange air. It's usually caused by irritants, untreated chronic coughs, pneumonia & often times one never knows why. When you see someone wearing oxygen that is often the reason.
It can be treated with meds to help open the airways & decrease inflammation.
There is no cure for chronic cases but new cases will often resolve if the source of irritation is removed soon enough & treatment begun.
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-25-2013, 04:31 PM
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Heaves is like asthma and allergies. Mainly it is caused by mold breathed in from eating round bales. Once a horse gets heaves, they have it for life. There is no cure. It can be managed by controlling dust and with medication. Horses that eat from a round bale tend to bury their head into it while they eat. They then breathe in dust and mold spores which cause heaves or aggravate it. There is a shot you can get from a vet to help control it. It's a steroid shot but not a huge dose of it.

You need to limit exposure to dust by not feeding round bales, you can wet the hay down, and try to limit exposure to dust from dirt roads and harvest time.
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-25-2013, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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And what it really does is that the horse breaths heavily with big nostrils and when it's bad you can hear a little wheezing sound coming from the nostril. That means that the airwaves are very tight. If not controlled or left untreated, you will eventually see a 'heave line' because they are using a lot of energy just trying to breath and they can also lose weight. (Im kinda refering to my mare right now although you don't see a heave line because she's not to that point she's just in the beginning of the first stage.) You might start noticing that your horse is coughing when you ride him, let's say only when you start trotting or cantering and doing hard work. Then it gradually moves to the heavy breathing...
Wish i knew from the beginning that she was showing me signs all along but was not well enough educated on that disease and let her eat round bales.

Now all she will ever eat are square bales and they will all be separated into small pieces and shaken to make sure no dust is inside. She has only arrived yesterday to the new barn. She's eating grass with her new 2 buddies and is already much better, the heavy breathing is gone :)
ps sorry for the long post lol
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-27-2013, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by joseeandjade11 View Post
And what it really does is that the horse breaths heavily with big nostrils and when it's bad you can hear a little wheezing sound coming from the nostril. That means that the airwaves are very tight. If not controlled or left untreated, you will eventually see a 'heave line' because they are using a lot of energy just trying to breath and they can also lose weight. (Im kinda refering to my mare right now although you don't see a heave line because she's not to that point she's just in the beginning of the first stage.) You might start noticing that your horse is coughing when you ride him, let's say only when you start trotting or cantering and doing hard work. Then it gradually moves to the heavy breathing...
Wish i knew from the beginning that she was showing me signs all along but was not well enough educated on that disease and let her eat round bales.

Now all she will ever eat are square bales and they will all be separated into small pieces and shaken to make sure no dust is inside. She has only arrived yesterday to the new barn. She's eating grass with her new 2 buddies and is already much better, the heavy breathing is gone :)
ps sorry for the long post lol
It's not your fault. Many horses eat from round bales & do fine. You've moved her & she is already better so don't give up hope. This could be a transient thing. A course of antibiotics could be in order to help clear her system.

My older mare recently had a slight cough, not hard or often but still a concern. Two weeks on SMZ's (antibiotic) cleared it up, diagnosed as bronchitis. The vet said it could have turned into heaves if left alone.
She's fine now. BTW, she has never eaten from a round bale so you see it can happen no matter what,

The important thing is that you took action quickly. You did good.
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-27-2013, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by natisha View Post
The important thing is that you took action quickly. You did good.
Thank you Natisha, it really means a lot to hear that
The past week has been hell and very stressful. Now it's back to normal and im quite happy with my decision after all even if it was hard to leave the other barn.
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