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7Ponies 08-25-2009 04:56 PM

Crap, what next??? (any advice appreciated)
Dixie, my little horse that was just recently diagnosed with heaves, is not getting better.

She has been on Dex for 5 days now (5cc IM) and Breath-Ease (5cc orally 2x daily).

She is a wee bit better, but not better better (does that make sense). Today I counted her respiration and it was 20 (at rest). Last Friday when the vet was here it was 30 (at rest). So we have improved a little.

However, she is still using her abs to push out air and still coughing.

Called the vet back today. Vet suggests keeping her on the Dex (5cc IM) and keeping her in the stall for a few days. Vet has seen more than several horses having problems with something pasture related. So she wants to keep her off it and see what happens.


What in the world will I do with a horse that has allergies to her freakin pasture????

I'm really getting upset.

Anyone with heaves? How long did it take for your horse to start breathing normally again after treatment?

Bummed out here :(

NorthernMama 08-25-2009 08:19 PM

I have very limited experience with heaves, but if it does end up being an allergy, it may be that she just needs to be pulled from the pasture for just a short time each summer. I had a horse here that in August every year his allergies would act up. The rest of the year he was fine. He wasn't so bad that I had to pull him off the pasture or anything -- he just couldn't race during that time. That's why I had him -- retirement home for him.

Good luck.

MyBoyPuck 08-25-2009 08:45 PM

There's a horse at our barn with heaves. They soak his hay for about 15 minutes before feeding it, and it helps him a lot.

Have you tried adding flax to her diet? It takes a few weeks to get into their system, but flax supposedly helps with inflamation. The only other suggestion I have is to remove the her from the pasture altogether for awhile.

I'm thinking all the rain has produced super weeds this year. My horse never had problems being turned out on grass. This year, when he gets turned out on pasture even for a few hours, he gets hives all over his face. Maybe after the summer's over, things will calm down.

7Ponies 08-25-2009 09:10 PM

I keep hearing from others that this will get better. Gosh, I am SO hoping so!

I am soaking her hay. Since she's going to be stalled for a few days, I'm also putting it up off the floor in a hay bay (soaked, of course).

Vet really feels this may be pasture specific COPD.

The bad thing is, I have to leave Gandy in as well. If I don't, they scream all night long. Gandy is going to go nuts.


G and K's Mom 08-25-2009 09:12 PM

What about a dry lot for her where they can still see each other?

7Ponies 08-25-2009 09:13 PM

MyBoyPuck, what are you doing for his hives? That must be horrible too!

7Ponies 08-25-2009 09:13 PM

I don't have a dry lot. I'm all grassy.

G and K's Mom 08-25-2009 09:27 PM

Well couldn't you put up some temporary fencing and bring in a load of crusher? It might cost a bit up front but it would hold up for the next year.

MyBoyPuck 08-25-2009 09:37 PM

Luckily the hives don't seem to bother him much and are gone in about a day. Since he's got his monster hay bale to eat, we're just not putting him on pasture for the next few weeks to give whatever he's allergic to time to die off. They only get grass a few hours a week anyway, so it's not a big deal for him. I have given him a dose of Benadryl the few times his face was really bad to help calm things down.

SFMoneyMarket 08-25-2009 10:17 PM

Every year at the end of spring/beginning of summer my horse breaks out in hives and his eyes would swell to the point where he couldn't open them, from something in his pasture, but since he's on 80 acres, we can't specify exactly what. However, up until recently, he was pasture boarded so we didn't have the option of putting him in a stall. Some may bash me for this, but we used to give him benedryl. We would give him 8 tablets (recommended number by the vet) and it helped tremendously, his hives would go away and he would be better in a matter of days.

Just throwing it out there, because it did work very well for me.
He's also allergic to all fly sprays *rolls eyes*.

But good luck!

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