Some Sort of Respiratory Issue?

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Some Sort of Respiratory Issue?

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    07-03-2013, 07:38 PM
Some Sort of Respiratory Issue?

Hey all! First: I do NOT own this horse. I ride him, and do some training. I can NOT have a vet out to scope him, nor will the owner, as he is a pasture pet mainly and this issue isn't at all life-threatening presently.
Ok, I'm going to give a detailed description of the issue. If you could do your best to try and give some help on a possible diagnosis and/or treatment, BASED on the information I have given, that would be lovely. If you are unable to do that, I would ask you to refrain from posting. Thank you!
12yr(?) Appy gelding. Lives outside 24/7 with 6 other horses in good pasture. Has never had any respiratory problems ever up until January or so of this year.

Over the winter we noticed him coughing occasionally. Figured maybe it was the dry air, though none of the other horses ever coughed. Towards spring we still noticed him coughing every so often, so we paid more attention to it. We noticed that some days (NOT everyday, but usually once a week or so at least) he seems to be breathing faster than usual. They're relatively shallow breaths, and fairly quick. He does not strain for air, and does not seem stressed at all.
Also, if it is a bad day, he sometimes gets a bit "wheezy" for a few seconds, usually followed by some coughing. These episodes generally follow some sort of trotting or cantering, though not always. If it is a coughing day, he will usually resist going on the bit, even at the walk.
Again, PLEASE note that this does not happen every day, and he is never distressed about it.
My own thoughts:
1) He's about 12yrs old, and the last 6months or so is the first time he's every had the coughing/wheezing/shallow breathing.

2) It isn't every day, more like once a week or so.

3) When it is a coughing day, he will not go on the bit.

4) He doesn't "roar", and he doesn't gasp for breath.

5) Though it sometimes directly follows a trot session, it doesn't always. We can spend three hours cantering around the forest or swimming in the river most days and he is perfectly fine.
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    07-03-2013, 07:43 PM
Heaves and or allergies
    07-03-2013, 07:53 PM
I'm not really sure about heaves. It's been at least 6mo since start of symptoms, and I'm not seeing a heave line (increased muscle) here:

As for allergies, there's not much to be allergic to in the winter, aside from hay, and he's still having those episodes now, on grass.

It's probably not initiated by exercise, as we'll hear him coughing out in the pasture, when all he's doing is grazing.
    07-03-2013, 08:03 PM
My horses are allergic to spring and summer stuff. They get runny eyes and cough at times when certain things bloom. My friends TWH gelding coughs alot when its hot and humid and he does anythign more than walk 2o feet. He is semi heavy but has no heave line. She keeps him ion some sort of feed through to help but he still has issues. Heaves don't start off full blast either. Its gradual IME. Id say allergies is highly likely.
    07-03-2013, 08:34 PM
Do you have any experience with treating equine allergies? I know typical antihistamines aren't usually thought to be super effective with horses, though I think he's been getting Benedryl lately. (One of the other horses in the herd has heaves and gets the same).
    07-03-2013, 09:33 PM
I havent treated my horses because they are not that bad and they do go away in a few weeks once spring bloom is over. My friend does give her horse ani-hyst I think it is? And when its really bad she gives something from her vet. Some sort of steroid I think it is.
    07-05-2013, 11:34 AM
    07-05-2013, 12:13 PM
Heart problems are a possibility causing fluid.
    07-05-2013, 12:25 PM
QtrBel: Could you be a little more specific?

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