Horse with heaves. Any advice? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By DraftyAiresMum
  • 2 Post By Golden Horse
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-27-2016, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Horse with heaves. Any advice?

The first symptoms revealed about 4 years ago when i noticed slight couging during the training. Back then the vet came and checked on the horse but said it's nothing serious and that he just need more regular training. Now for about two years for sure, if not more, I know that the horse that I ride has heaves. He has got heave line and you can see him breathing with abdominal muscles. I moved him to another barn half a year ago where he now can be turned out 24/7 and has perfect environment for his needs. He is 11 years old. During summer months, usually the heave symptoms and coughing have dissappeared. They become more noticable when it's autumn/spring.

My question is that how much can I ride him? Atm when I ride him (about 3 times a week, flatwork walk-trot-sometimes canter, nothing too hard) there's sometimes moments where he just stops, puts his head down and refuses to move forward (because he's waiting for a cough) and then coughs multiple times. And when I look at his breathing I can see his abdominal muscles moving.

He is rather a fast horse who likes to go forward, absolutely loves to jump etc. So when he's not coughing he is really eager to move and seems to be fine. But just seeing him like this makes me really worried. It totally depends on the day, some days he doesn't cough at all, some days this scene that he stops and won't move because he's couging is happening multiple times. I just don't know what should I do, one day he seems to be fine but the other day i'm really worried that maybe I shouldn't ride him at all..
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-27-2016, 05:21 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
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@Golden Horse , you've dealt with heaves with the Amazing Mr Gibbs, haven't you? Maybe you can be of some help?
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Do not tell me I can't...because I will show you that I can.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-27-2016, 05:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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What are you treating it with?

My guy has seasonal heaves as well, this week he is really bad so he is back on his vet meds, Dex and Ventipulmin, and I would not ride him, he is wheezy but not coughing.

When he is breathing normally again I will start to ride him, exercise is good for him, but he will be going out on the trail, he can't be in an inside arena, and even the dust of an outdoor will affect him.

Each horse is different, I would definitely look at some herbal supplements, my vet actually encourages their use, together with good management practices to maintain my guy, it is usually just this time of year that he needs the meds.

It is frustrating, and it is trial and error, if he is having a bad day, just quit, don't push him, if he is doing better then enjoy him.

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-27-2016, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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LOL @DraftyAiresMum , I was already on it, but glad to see the tagging worked, just what it was meant for
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“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-27-2016, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
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@Golden Horse I sent you a PM.
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