Help with heaves - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By dipper
  • 1 Post By Left Hand Percherons
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Elizabeth, CO
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Help with heaves

Hi there!
I haven't been on in a while but I am in need of idea, opinions, etc from you guys!

My boy Twist has heaves. He has for years but it has never been a Problem until this summer. It got so bad he even had to stay in the ICU one night, they even thought it might have been pulmonary edema! I have since moved him outdoors, he is getting a small amount of grass hay, alfalfa pellets, some soaked alfalfa cubes, tri hist ( antihistamine), and some senior feed.
I want to get back to riding (we have never done lots of hard/strenuous riding) but I want to try and get back into taking lessons.

Does anyone else have thoughts/ideas on what else I can do for him as far as changing his feed or supplements. I would soak his hay but 1) the barn he is boarded it I doubt will do that for him and would be too costly if they did and 2) winter is coming so it will freeze.
I am so stressed out by this. I have allergies and asthma so I know how awful it can feel. I have had to miss days of work to take care of him, he gets upset when it is hard to breathe, I hate it!

So if you guys have help for me I would be grateful!
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M2twisted is offline  
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 09:08 PM
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It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Keeping him out as much as possible helps, as well as using cubes etc. Even if you cannot soak the hay, just wetting it will help, so when they put hay out for him just giving it a little spraydown with the hose may help. You can also wet his feed. Any way to prevent dust shoud be beneficial. Hope that helps a little, but sounds like you ae on the right track anyway. Good luck!
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dipper is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 11:56 PM
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Agreed... Good job for keeping him outside!! Very important- keep him out of dusty arenas, trials, roads, dry-lots, etc... Anything that has a possibility of getting dusty. Soak his hay- put it in a trash can for 30 minutes I believe, and if you are really stressed on time, you could just wet it with a hose.... And have you tried getting rid of certain things in his diet (im sure you have but double checking!)... Like the alfalfa and grass? And off the pellets (maybe its something in the brand?) And the senior feed?

Good luck!!!

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
caseymyhorserocks is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 10-08-2011, 06:24 AM
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He should be out as much as possible. Hay should be fed on the ground or the floor but not in a corner where it's dead air. This will help keep his airways open. Same with his cubes, in a large rubber pan on the floor. The construction of stalls, often wood at least 4' high restricts the flow of air. One stable I boarded at put 1,1/2" spacers between the planks which ran horizontally. This improved air flow considerably over the old way of plank on plank. There was a cost saving as well.
Saddlebag is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 10-08-2011, 01:43 PM
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Have you had allergy tests run? If it's worse in the summer, there has to be an allergen component to it. I would also look at a different antihistamine than the Tri Hist. Tri Hist is about the least effective product out there. You might also want to combine it with some type of steroid.

If you do opt for testing, I would not use Heska in Loveland. Their test panel does not cover enough typical environmental allergens that we can control. I used Spectrum out of AZ. They covered just about everything feed and environmental you could think of.
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Left Hand Percherons is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 10-08-2011, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Hi M2twisted,
I'm dealing with the same thing, was even going to start a thread for
our pony and her COPD. I'll be reading this one, thank you for starting it!

So far we do complete turnout with an open air shelter. You may want to look
at finding him a facility that has this option. No hay period. I know it's
hard but pasture only is the best. Try smartpacks, we use the Breathe Rite.
Cortisone shots twice a week when she flares up. Use as little as possible because they sometimes get dependent on them and the shots will become ineffective. Many granual products have been taken off the market so it's
getting more and more difficult do feed additions. You can even try
Benadryl (sp) capsules depending on weight, mixed in his feed. Didn't work
for Rosie and talk to your vet about it.

You are doing a great job! Keep it up!
Bless you guys, I feel for you!
FlyGap is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 10-08-2011, 02:50 PM
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Sorry, I reread your post and you already have him outside.
FlyGap is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 10-08-2011, 08:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Just wondering - where are you located? That sometimes has a fair bit to do with breathing issues.
bubbleslove is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 10-09-2011, 08:40 PM
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if you ride in an arena , creating dust, this will contribute to his problem. wet down the arena so there is not dust, or put down shavings or something to control the dust. But since you are boarding this may be an issue with the owner.
stevenson is offline  

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