Worried about my horse Charmer - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-21-2013, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Worried about my horse Charmer

Worried about my Charmer...his breathing has become more labored this week. I noticed last week that when eating he would cough a couple of times. Now granted he only gets a handful of safechoice and a couple handfuls of chaffhay (chaffhay was introduced a month ago and he seemed fine on it). So this weekend I took him off the chaffhay just in case he was eating it too fast and just let him have his handful of feed. Still coughed a couple of times but not every feeding. I also noticed earlier this week that he had coughed a couple times during his workouts, but it wasnt consistent and it was fairly humid. His workouts did not include any cantering, just groundwork, trotting and then saddle work at a walk/trot. I've been keeping an eye this though. Its definitely increasing. Tonight I worked him at 8pm, 82 out with 73% humidity and 5 minutes into his workout he sounded a bit louder than the video and had coughed 5 times. I stopped the workout right then, headed to the barn and recorded the video 6-8 minutes after we stopped. I'm officially worried; he is only 6 yrs old. Vet call will be made asap.
20130621_203902_zps77ad50e5.mp4 Video by selling-stuff | Photobucket
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-21-2013, 11:10 PM
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Could it be Strangles? There's an outbreak at my barn, and all of the horses cough and breathe loudly if they work too much (and thus are on stall rest with shor turnout in a small paddock).
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-21-2013, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shoebox View Post
Could it be Strangles? There's an outbreak at my barn, and all of the horses cough and breathe loudly if they work too much (and thus are on stall rest with shor turnout in a small paddock).
Not likely. I have my own barn, he has only been off property twice this year. Both places he was not near any other horses except his own barn mates and both places have had no outbreaks with any horses at the facility.
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post #4 of 19 Old 06-22-2013, 02:16 AM
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I have never heard that kind of breathing before. Could it be roaring?
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post #5 of 19 Old 06-22-2013, 02:44 AM
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Sounds like my mare when she's having a heave attack.
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post #6 of 19 Old 06-23-2013, 02:50 AM
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Post Hmmm

I use to have a similar thing with a stud colt of mine. 1st is he kept in a barn? It could be allergies, I know I sound ignorant but it's true. If people at your barn blow it out with a blower or sweep it out or use dusty shavings/straw that could be a possibility. My colt had the EXACT same symptoms.

Or, COPD, heaves, pnemonia, and choke are my next ideas.

Bring your horse up to a canter and watch his flanks when he is in motion. If they seem to lift twice per stride that could be an indicator of heaves.

Choke is unlikley as it sounds as though it's not just during mealtimes but also provoked by exercise. Try wetting his hay and feed though. This will also help with any type of respiratory issue!

Pnemonia is another likley cause due to the sudden changes in temp and weather. They seem to go down in the summer for whatever reason. What's his temp?

Good luck with your horse! I'd love to hear more and find out what your vet has to say.
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-23-2013, 07:53 AM
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I hope the vet has already been out.
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post #8 of 19 Old 06-23-2013, 11:50 AM
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The most common causes in respiratory noises in horses are dorsal displacement of the soft palate and epiglottic entrapment. The former is a bit more common. What happens is the soft palate slips dorsally over the epiglottis, so when the horse breathes the palate vibrates with the passage of air over it causing noise similar to what your horse is doing. It can be brought on by upper airway inflammation such as guttural pouch infections or lymphoid hyperplasia of the pharynx. EPM also seems to cause it in some cases. The coughing is the horse trying to get the palate back under the epiglottis.
The end point of all this is you do need a vet who understands respiratory issues to come out and do an endoscopic exam on your horse.
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post #9 of 19 Old 06-23-2013, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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He only coughed once yesterday (and I was with him all day until dark) and once this morning during a feed. He is on pasture 24/7 with free choice access to a large open barn with fans in each open stall. I have not worked him since Friday evening. He does not seem to be in distress at all when he is walking around eating. No temp and still wants his tiny bit of feed morning and night (and when I say tiny, it's just a handful so he'll come up and get locked up while the others eat their portions because he steals food if allowed lol). He is 7 yrs old and this just started a couple of weeks ago. Vet appt is tomorrow morning.
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-23-2013, 04:08 PM
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I'm subbing. Interested to see what the vet says. I would be in a panic if my guy was breathing that way!

Life seems mighty precious, when there's less of it to waste.
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