Questions about COPD?proper living arrangments? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-15-2012, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about COPD?proper living arrangments?

Hey everyone,

I apologize if this was already covered in another thread, but I couldn't find one when I looked.

Anyway, I've been riding one of the barn owners personal horses for the last couple of months, just keeping the mare in shape. She's a 21 year old arabian mare with a heck of a lot of spunk and attitude. She's pretty much the personality equivalent of my late boy, Rocky. Okay, so on to the dilemma. She has COPD. I'd never had any experience with it until I started riding her. At this point, she's perfectly find, except that she'll cough when she gets winded; so I just have to watch how hard she's worked out on trail.
I read up on COPD and heard (can't remember where) that horses with this condition should be on pasture because dust from barns can aggravate the condition. Thing is, this mare is stalled al the time and when she does get turned out, it's in a dusty indoor arena. I casually asked about this to the owner and was told that "its fine".
So basically what I want to know, from any of you with experience with this condition, am I worrying needlessly?? I'm just concerned that her condition will deteriorate faster (more coughing, shortness of breath) being around so much dust. Thing is, this mare is an arabian through and through. She adores being out and being ridden, motors her little heart out for me on trail, and it breaks my heart to think that she might be unridable sooner if her condition gets worse. So please, any insight or information is appreciated. I want to make sure I'm not overreacting and figured my horseforum friends could help me out.

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post #2 of 6 Old 07-15-2012, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Also, if anyone has any good literature on copd, please share. Like to know eveything i can about these sorts of things
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-16-2012, 03:37 AM
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I really don't have any literature, but I do have some experience. My horse had a cough and initially they thought he had heaves but it wasn't.

From what I've heard from my vet and what I've read on line, horses can develop allergies to dust and/or mold. So you're right, keeping this mare outside 24/7 as long as the weather is clement is a good idea. She needs pasture instead of hay, and fresh air. Heaves can become a very serious and life threatening condition.

It would be a good idea to have a vet check her out. My boy started with mild coughs during exercise, and in a short period of time he ended up almost dying from pneumonia. But from what I read, you have litle say in the matter, unless you buy the mare. :(
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-16-2012, 04:57 AM
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Here's a great link. Very informative and well worth reading.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-16-2012, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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thank you =)

yeah, that's whats so hard about shareboarding. If the owner is content to just sit, there's nothing I can do. However, the more information about the risks of keeping a COPD horse inside all the time I have, the more comfortable I'll feel bringing it up to her again.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-17-2012, 12:42 PM
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I have one friend who purchased a horse from a theraputic riding stable. The horse was wonderful, 9 years old, fit great in thier program but her heaves were terrible and they knew she needed to get outside and thier horses were stalled the majority of the day with barn doors closed. Beautiful registered mare, great ride. They sold her to my friend who promised to keep her out 24x7 with shelter. Within a month the farrier came out who knew the horse well, he was amazed at her breathing. Fast forward 10 years, horse is doing wonderful. But does struggle a bit on hot days.
I have another friend who had her horse in a boarding stable about 5 years. Poor horse would cough so bad when we rode. My friend literally vacummed her stall walls and ceilings weekly, didnt make a difference. She built a barn, brought the horse home last year, I havent heard her cough since. She used to feed her cough free, she quit that a year ago. Although she does stall for about 8 hours a day, her barn is new, airy and not dusty.
Hope these stories help you.
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