horses and asthma

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horses and asthma

This is a discussion on horses and asthma within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
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    09-25-2009, 08:06 AM
horses and asthma

The Blue Roan Appy, ''Biggs'' that I just bought a couple of weeks ago has asthma, had the vet out yesterday because I noticed heavy breathing and a little whizzing he was doing after some trail rides, so he is on meds.(cant remember the name) anyway I used the same vet the old owners did and the vet said that Biggs didnt have asthma back in April 09 when they gave him his shots and a check up. Does asthma just come on like that?? I am not too happy about getting a sick horse that will have to be on meds for his whole life. What is it I have to watch him for??? I soak down the hay before anyone gets it and he gets grain twice a day. What is there that I should know about horses with asthma??? Thanks for any advice....
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    09-25-2009, 08:28 AM
Also is ''Heaves'' the same as asthma?
    09-25-2009, 08:45 AM
    09-25-2009, 10:02 PM
Heaves is the same as asthma, yes.
Most likely your horse will have attacks again, it's the nature of the beast.
There have been a lot of recent threads here about Heaves and treatment, check them out.
    09-26-2009, 12:05 AM
Ok, thanks
    09-26-2009, 12:38 AM
Well my horse is fine when in the pasture not doing much, I have lunged him for a very short time (10min) and that's when I noticed the heavy breathing. I took him out for a 1 hr. Trail ride little trotting and the rest walking, I had to hold him back from trotting, he likes to go, but when we got back home he was breathing heavy again and very little whizzing, not real bad.Vet told me to start out with 4cc a day of dex wait 4 days and if he seems ok decrease it just a little every couple of days intil he is stable, understand. He did say not to give him 4cc one day and 2 cc the next day messing around with his meds like that are not good, but I read on here that is what alot of people do, is that the right way? I live in Fl and the vet says is a bad time of yr. For his asthma/heaves.
    09-26-2009, 12:39 AM
And one other thing after the trail ride he only coughed once.
    09-26-2009, 07:02 AM
Heaves can be seasonal where you only see it certain times of year. Most get worse in heat and better in cool weather. Just like humans with asthma. Its important to feed them dust free hay and keep them out of dusty areas.
    09-26-2009, 10:15 AM
Will he have to be on meds all year round?
    09-26-2009, 10:24 AM
Our mare gets coughs every now and again. I'd love to know why.
Everytime she has a bad spasm I freak out, but she is molly coddled par extraordinaire.

Treatment well - a few regular routines really:

We steam all hay - get a plastic dustbin, put the hay in a net and push it into the dustbin, boil a kettle of water and poor it over the hay.
Close the lid and leave for 10 minutes - then take it out.

Continually check the hay in use for staleness and dust - dispose of wasted material.
Try hay from different sources to see if any sources give more problems than others.
Consider swopping to manufactured chaff - ie chopped hay &/or alfalfa
Make sure there are no piles of hay left anywhere near the stable.
Regularly vacuum out the stable, especially for cobwebs.

Don't use straw for bedding - use wood shavings or sawdust pellets.
Give the horse regularly honey - preferably local honey.
Use clean rain water instead of tap water which may contain chlorine.
Make up a mix of garlic powder and marsh mallow - sprinkle a couple of table spoons over the feed at night.
Always damp down the supplementary feed with water.
Watch the horse's waistline - don't let it put on weight.
Change the water bucket at least once a day - twice if horse in overnight.

Make a note of any localities where the horse seems to cough more than others. Avoid those localities.

Make sure other horses, which may harbour respiratory infections don't get too close. Park away from other horses at horse shows.

Watch your work out - the horse may only cough on hill work - so ride on the flat.
Don't put the horse out sweaty - buy a sweat rug.
Consider clipping the horse if the coat grows too quickly in warm weather.

Consider changing your vet.

Ask other owners if they have an asthma problem - compare notes.

You'll get used to the routine - you'll become very dust conscious but sorry, pollen you can't eradicate completely - ever. Trouble is - I am now neurotic all because my horse coughs every now and again.

Best of luck.

Barry G

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