What should I do? (keep or sell the horse) - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 34 Old 05-13-2016, 07:45 PM
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No one will care for him more than you. Someone else may make him work when he's suffering to do so.
I think he's better off with you than being sold. You have his best interest at heart & will make decisions based on that.
Could you send him back to your Aunt's place to retire?
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post #12 of 34 Old 05-13-2016, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by aquariusw View Post

How long has your horse had heaves for? Can you still ride him like you used to or do you have to do slightly lighter work because of the heaves?
My horse was tested for heaves....oh, maybe 10 or so years ago (he's 18). He tested positive for it, although his is not very severe. He's not on medication or anything...just has a cough once in awhile when riding. It goes away and he doesn't keep coughing through our ride or anything. And he never struggles to breath.

Yes, I ride him as if he were 'normal'. It's never really prevented us from doing much. With that said, this horse is not in super heavy work. I pleasure ride mostly, and have dressage lessons once a week with him.
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post #13 of 34 Old 05-14-2016, 01:18 AM
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I think that if you truly care, selling him or giving him away should be out of the question. Your question should be keep or euthanize.

I board too, and had a stretch of about a year where I couldn't ride due to my horse's health (laminitis). For a long time, it was unclear whether he would ever be rideable again. I understand how frustrating, heartbreaking and expensive a chronic health condition can be.
For myself, I resolved that the most important thing for me is my horse's well-being. I am not in a position to board two horses, so it would have meant I pay board and am not riding. Luckily, my horse recovered again, but if he never had, I still would have kept him as long as he could have had a good quality of life.
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post #14 of 34 Old 05-14-2016, 01:25 AM
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I am sort of in your situation.

Between my current health status and the age/condition of my horse, I cannot ride him. He is fully retired (has been for the past year or so).
Would I like a horse that I could ride? Yes.
Has my horse earned his retirement? Yes.
I will continue to fund him for as long as he is happy and comfortable, regardless as to whether I can ride or not; regardless if I can afford another horse--or even lessons--or not. Should his health ever deteriorate or he is no longer comfortable, I will do what is humane.
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post #15 of 34 Old 05-14-2016, 01:39 AM
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The most important thing for a horse with heaves, is management. That can be hard to do, if you board. The horse should be on full time turn out, and if fed any hay, it should be well soaked
He should be ridden outside, not in arenas, which can be dusty, even at the best of times-not enough to affect a normal horse, but certainly one that is sensitized, needing only a small amount of irritant, to have another episode
Since you board, thus have both that expense, plus lack of total control of management, I would advise to try and find him a home, and buy a horse that you can have full use of, and which is not a management problem.
I manage my IR horse quite intensively, and don't know what I would do, if I had to board her, as I would worry constantly. I also have other horses to ride, so not the same!
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post #16 of 34 Old 05-14-2016, 11:48 AM
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He basically has no future except the slaughter pen if you sell him out on the open market. Now, if you could give him to a trusted horse owner who wanted a companion horse or pasture pet, it might work especially if he can be outside most of the time. Fresh air can be very beneficial to a horse with heaves.

A client of mine was able to use her horse with heaves for many, many years even for trial rides by getting a equine nebulizer with steroids that she took everywhere she rode. It was a little strange seeing that thing on the back of her saddle but it eased the symptoms enormously. Just like a person with asthma or other lung problems. Ask your vet about them-there are a lot more treatments available for heaves than there used to be.
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post #17 of 34 Old 05-14-2016, 12:39 PM
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I would have not have bought that horse
if you have known this horse for 6 years and knew he had heaves, that is your fault sorry

now you nay be stuck with him

good luck trying to sell him

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post #18 of 34 Old 05-14-2016, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by aquariusw View Post
The barn manager has had horses with heaves and when I moved to the new barn last fall, he said right away that my horse has heaves. For the past 1,5 years I've thought that because of the way the horse was breathing etc. but I wasn't too sure because I didn't have any previous experience with a horse with heaves.

As I said before, when he belonged to my aunt, there wasn't much I could do. For her it was "just a cough" and nothing serious. So now when i'm the owner, I can look at the horse's situation realistically and find a solution. The vet has seen the horse for other purposes (vaccines etc) but haven't said anything then. I'm planning to call two different vets next week to plan an appointment and get more information and see what they think. Right now the horse is not on any meds. The living conditions are better than they were before (24/7 outside, no dusty environment etc).

I don't understand that some people say it's good for a horse with heaves to be in light work and when you see the horse is breathing well and is feeling good, it's okay to ride him. And that seems to work for me right now. Some days I can ride him like I used to, no problems, the horse is happy and well. At the same time others say when you have a horse with heaves the only options are to put him down or keep him as a companion horse. And that's how I feel on some days as well where when I try to ride him he just stops every now and then and won't move at all and I can see him breathing heavily.. then just end the lesson and usually when I see him breathing really heavily during tacking up, I won't even think about riding him. I guess it depends on the horse and his situation but that's just confusing.
You need a vet out, not for a diagnosis, because it does sound like heaves, but simply to help him!! What's the point of knowing what the problem is if you don't treat him? Have the vet out, for the horses sake. That is a non negotiable first step, imo, then the vet can talk to you about long term care and if you are worried you can talk to the vet about selling or even euthanizing.

There are medications and the BO/vet should help you set up a management plan (I like to think this part has already happened with the BO at least). Like not having dusty hay is good, but there is dust in even the best hay so are you soaking it? There are a lot of "extra steps" which are a pain but make a huge difference.

Odd that heaves is worse in the winter. Is he inside more?

Let us know how it goes with the vets, that will make a huge difference.
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post #19 of 34 Old 05-14-2016, 05:58 PM
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If he could be outside all the time, away from dust, on grass, and any hay he was fed is watered to kill the dust (you have to only feed what they will eat so it doesn't go bad), he might do just fine.

Heaves is often a management issue. Breathing dusty hay, dusty barn dust, ammonia from an unventilated barn, or any other irritants set it off.

If I had to sleep and live in the barn and breathe the dust off of hay, I couldn't breathe either.

Get a good evaluation by a veterinarian. If there is something that can be treated, then treat it if you can.

You might try moving to a pasture board situation. It would probably be cheaper and might solve the problem.

Smilie's advise above ^^^ is good.
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Carpe Diem!
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post #20 of 34 Old 05-14-2016, 06:38 PM
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You're in a boarding situation and not able to afford two horses. The vet bills and meds on this horse will be costly.

The horse has no future once he leaves your care. My grandad had a pony with heaves so I know how it can progress no matter what is done for the horse.

If you know for fact the horse has COPD and is in an advance stage, do the right thing and have him euthanized.

It isn't easy. Nobody wants to do it but it IS the humane and ethical thing to do.

I have had to lay five horses to rest in my lifetime - I was in a boarding situation when I had the first two PTS'd from cancer and ringbone at ages 29 & 27. It isn't like I don't know what I am talking about.
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A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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