Cough progressively worsening - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Ryle
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-24-2017, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Brunswick Canada
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Cough progressively worsening

I'm in a bit of a bind, and I'd like some more heads to help me figure out what's up.

When we purchased spirit in the fall, she had a very very slight cough. I'd hear her cough once in the morning a few times a week.

When the snow fell, it began to be two or three coughs a couple days a week.

Now, she coughs five to six times a day, every day. It is a dry cough, and only one or two at a time. It's not brought on by exercise.

Yesterday we went for a nice slow trail ride, four km in two hours as it was a bit icy, and kept it to a walk only. After about half an hour, I noticed her nostrils were flared. They stayed flared (and not just smelling kind of flared, just big round holes) and the capillaries/skin inside her nostrils were bright red.

She was not breathing very hard, a bit harder than when at rest, but when we stopped for a pee break and she got to stand for a bit her nostrils returned to normal. Fifteen minutes of walking and again she was flared and breathing a bit hard. She's not overweight, and she's in decent shape.

When we returned home and let her loose she coughed 3-4 times. Again that dry cough.

The hay she eats is of good or decent quality, not too dusty apart from the odd bale. She gets hay only nearly 24/7.

She has no nasal discharge. I am going to listen to her breathing tomorrow with the stethoscope to see if I can hear anything off, and the vet has been notified. Oddly enough, when the vet was out to do a complete exam, she didn't say anything about her breathing and said her cough was normal. I don't want to go against my vet but she seems to be getting worse and worse over time.

I was thinking about putting her on a respiratory supplement, as a preventative measure, but am unsure of where to start. There are many, many supplements out there and I got a bit overwhelmed figuring out what would work best.
WhattaTroublemaker is offline  
post #2 of 5 Old 02-24-2017, 08:22 PM
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At this point, I would have a vet out for an examination. There are some tests that can be performed during a physical exam to help determine what is going on.
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Cindy D.
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Ryle is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 02-24-2017, 09:09 PM
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|not too dusty, can be too dusty, for a horse with allergic condition.
Did she cough in the summer, when just on pasture?
What is the temp?
I agree you need diagnostic work up
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-24-2017, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
|not too dusty, can be too dusty, for a horse with allergic condition.
Did she cough in the summer, when just on pasture?
What is the temp?
I agree you need diagnostic work up
We did not have her in the summer, but in the pasture in the fall she would cough in the mornings when I went out to turn them out, and occasionally in the evening I'd hear it when I was outside.

I'll try wetting her hay every night and see if that helps anything.

The temperature outside in the fall was between 15 and 0 degrees, in the winter it was down to minus forty, and yesterday it was a balmy 7 degrees (celsius, of course) when we went out for a ride.

Vet will be coming out when we get the chance, still have a rather large bill to pay from doing a complete physical (inside and out) from when we thought she may have had pain or reproductive issues. It makes me rather angry because I mentioned the cough to her, she checked some things and said she's A-OK, and now it's getting worse.

ETA: yesterday was the first time I've noticed her flared nostrils, and last fall/over the winter I've exercised her at a trot a few times and didn't notice it, so this is new.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-25-2017, 09:26 AM
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First off I would not medicate without knowing why or what you are medicating is unwise.
Seasons changing also are a time of year that issues can suddenly show...
This is the time of the year for allergies to blossom.
Plants & trees start to bloom, grass starts to grow, rain and humidity start to return....
Allergies, heaves, lung infection or irritation are all things to have looked at now not later...sorry.
Your horse is already showing a increased sensitivity to something...
A easy trail ride should not be having a horse with flaring nostrils, it just should not.
Your horse is showing you gentle signs of distress from something.
I agree with Rylee and Smilie...
You need your vet now while this is beginning to get it under control, if it can be controlled or dealt with with medication to get the horse started on it now, not when it is full-blown and bad...
If you don't trust your vet, get another....
Not meaning to be harsh sounding...but you have a issue that if taken care of now....
It is far less expensive to deal with a problem in infancy than a large magnitude nightmare...
Add the expense to the bill owed, but get her looked at sooner rather than later.


The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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