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My horse is 20-23 years old. He has Heaves. He was prescribed dexamethasone-sp for management. The vet who gave it to us will not answer us so I can get another bottle. Horse is currently pulling in at the ribs and just miserable. What is a good supplement to help his airway? Smart breathe, cough free? I only have a tractor supply and normal feed stores avaliable in town along with online of course.
 

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I've had good results with spirulina pellets. It has kept my gelding from constant coughing during the summer months. It is an immune booster and I order mine through Smart Pak.
 

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While I am not a vet- I can tell you my routine with myhorse who has heaves.


Meds she is on if I notice her heaving:
ventipulmin syrup (bronchodilator) and hydroxyzine tablets (antihistamine) first one opens the airways, second one helps with inflamation. She was previously on TriHist for the antihistamine, but she would not take the powder and was hard to get her to take it even with applesause in an oral syringe. She will eat pills. However, all these meds will require a prescription, and I am aware of your situation.
If my horse is on ventipulmin, she is on the hydroxyzine. However, I only use ventipulmin when she is bad. I'll put her on the hydroxyzine when she is coughing regularly, but not heaving.


As far as over the counter stuff:

I use suppliments- not sure how well they work, but I use Smartbreathe Ultra Pellets from Smartpak ( on the site it has ingred listed, has spirilina in it)



I also use Finish Line Air Power Cough relief before I ride ( liquid oral dosing), and I put some vicks vapor rub on her nose ( NOT inside the nostrils) before I ride to help give her relief to any dust flying around. While I am NOT a vet, I think this may help prevent the chance of a flare up. If she is dirty and a lot of dust is coming off her when I groom, i'll use the vapor rub on nose to help



Other things that can help:
heaves, from what I read, is caused by allergies, mold and dust and that kind of stuff- some of the things I things us horse owners have little control over. Now, do not take this the wrong way or anything/you may already know this: but take a look at how your horse is kept. The best will be outside turnout all the time/ as much as possible ( unless the outdoor allergies are really bad, however, from what I read, mostly heaves is more of a stalled issue). If your horse has to be stalled ( I board, and no one else wants to field board or have their horse out longer, so I, myself, am stuck with stalling my horse part of the day because the horse will be more stressed being outside by herself) Make sure the barn is ventilated good. Feed hay? Wet it down. Grain dusty? See if you can get not so dusty brand or wet that down some to help. Muck the stall when the horse is outside and will be outside for at least an hour- actually, this goes for any stalls ( if you have control over this- I don't) Try to NOT use round bales ( sadly, in wintertime, that is what is providedat my place) because horse will stand around with nose in the bale and breath in what dust the round bale holds.



Bedding-we use saw dust type stuff ( like the pellets once it is broken down). At first one would think that has to be terrible, but its not- once it is settled. :(. We also used shavings. I read where straw is actually dusty.... but the bedding, once again, I dont have control over, but I actually have no complaints about what we use. my horse is doing better on it. I would read up more on bedding then taking my word for it though, to be honest. I know my husband was all allergies when we were at a place that used straw- couhing, sneezing, watery eyes. Now, he is fine- how that plays into the horse feels, I cannot say, other than she is doing better at the new barn.
Longer warm ups before rides for the horse, and longer cool downs. Hot an dhumid? I may skip the ride or just do the bareback pad ofr a short ride. Or just hand walk her. If she starts coughing during the ride, I just take it easy with her. I do exercise her tho, just not strenuously.



As you can see, I would make some changes for my horse if I could, but since I board, I am limited. Her hay is wetted and she is supplimented. This barn is cleaner and better ventilated. I feel bad that is th ebest I can do, but she is doing much better.



the other suppliments- cough free and such, I have never used, so I do not know. Its worth a shot, but IMHO if your horse is heaving, best choice would be meds to get that under control ( which I am sure you would if your vet situation was different). The way I see it, all the non med stuff is just ways to prevent a flare up- and so far its working fo rmy horse.


I understand your situation- I don't know if any vet would prescribe meds over the phone or anything like telemed for peope, and this really has to be frustrating. Keep trying- maybe they will open up sometime soon, like its just temporary?



But I would def try to readjust how the horse is kept to help, as well as suppliments. You can also wash the horses eyes to help provide some relief as well as clean the nostrils.


Best of wishes you your and your buddy.
 

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While I am not a vet- I can tell you my routine with myhorse who has heaves.


Meds she is on if I notice her heaving:
ventipulmin syrup (bronchodilator) and hydroxyzine tablets (antihistamine) first one opens the airways, second one helps with inflamation. She was previously on TriHist for the antihistamine, but she would not take the powder and was hard to get her to take it even with applesause in an oral syringe. She will eat pills. However, all these meds will require a prescription, and I am aware of your situation.
If my horse is on ventipulmin, she is on the hydroxyzine. However, I only use ventipulmin when she is bad. I'll put her on the hydroxyzine when she is coughing regularly, but not heaving.


As far as over the counter stuff:

I use suppliments- not sure how well they work, but I use Smartbreathe Ultra Pellets from Smartpak ( on the site it has ingred listed, has spirilina in it)



I also use Finish Line Air Power Cough relief before I ride ( liquid oral dosing), and I put some vicks vapor rub on her nose ( NOT inside the nostrils) before I ride to help give her relief to any dust flying around. While I am NOT a vet, I think this may help prevent the chance of a flare up. If she is dirty and a lot of dust is coming off her when I groom, i'll use the vapor rub on nose to help



Other things that can help:
heaves, from what I read, is caused by allergies, mold and dust and that kind of stuff- some of the things I things us horse owners have little control over. Now, do not take this the wrong way or anything/you may already know this: but take a look at how your horse is kept. The best will be outside turnout all the time/ as much as possible ( unless the outdoor allergies are really bad, however, from what I read, mostly heaves is more of a stalled issue). If your horse has to be stalled ( I board, and no one else wants to field board or have their horse out longer, so I, myself, am stuck with stalling my horse part of the day because the horse will be more stressed being outside by herself) Make sure the barn is ventilated good. Feed hay? Wet it down. Grain dusty? See if you can get not so dusty brand or wet that down some to help. Muck the stall when the horse is outside and will be outside for at least an hour- actually, this goes for any stalls ( if you have control over this- I don't) Try to NOT use round bales ( sadly, in wintertime, that is what is providedat my place) because horse will stand around with nose in the bale and breath in what dust the round bale holds.



Bedding-we use saw dust type stuff ( like the pellets once it is broken down). At first one would think that has to be terrible, but its not- once it is settled. 😞. We also used shavings. I read where straw is actually dusty.... but the bedding, once again, I dont have control over, but I actually have no complaints about what we use. my horse is doing better on it. I would read up more on bedding then taking my word for it though, to be honest. I know my husband was all allergies when we were at a place that used straw- couhing, sneezing, watery eyes. Now, he is fine- how that plays into the horse feels, I cannot say, other than she is doing better at the new barn.
Longer warm ups before rides for the horse, and longer cool downs. Hot an dhumid? I may skip the ride or just do the bareback pad ofr a short ride. Or just hand walk her. If she starts coughing during the ride, I just take it easy with her. I do exercise her tho, just not strenuously.



As you can see, I would make some changes for my horse if I could, but since I board, I am limited. Her hay is wetted and she is supplimented. This barn is cleaner and better ventilated. I feel bad that is th ebest I can do, but she is doing much better.



the other suppliments- cough free and such, I have never used, so I do not know. Its worth a shot, but IMHO if your horse is heaving, best choice would be meds to get that under control ( which I am sure you would if your vet situation was different). The way I see it, all the non med stuff is just ways to prevent a flare up- and so far its working fo rmy horse.


I understand your situation- I don't know if any vet would prescribe meds over the phone or anything like telemed for peope, and this really has to be frustrating. Keep trying- maybe they will open up sometime soon, like its just temporary?



But I would def try to readjust how the horse is kept to help, as well as suppliments. You can also wash the horses eyes to help provide some relief as well as clean the nostrils.


Best of wishes you your and your buddy.
He is out 24/7. It is only this time of the year when it starts raining as fronts move in (florida). It gets better during the summer. I havent heard him coughing yet... Hoping I can manage to get ahold of the vet to get his Dex and maybe with the combo of a respitory supplement he will get better. The vet is actually my horses former owner which makes not being able to get an answer kinda frustrating.
 

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Ventipulmin for 28 days. Worked well for our senior gelding. Worth a shot if you haven't tried it yet.

Also if you don't already, wet or preferably steam the hay. I did this for a whole winter. You can build a DIY hay steamer pretty easily. I used an old child's dehumidifier in a rubbermaid garbage can, made a metal rack out of an old BBQ grill, and hung the haynets on it for about 45 minutes.
 

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Ventipulmin for 28 days. Worked well for our senior gelding. Worth a shot if you haven't tried it yet.

Also if you don't already, wet or preferably steam the hay. I did this for a whole winter. You can build a DIY hay steamer pretty easily. I used an old child's dehumidifier in a rubbermaid garbage can, made a metal rack out of an old BBQ grill, and hung the haynets on it for about 45 minutes.
That takes a RX to get, the vet already won't answer me about getting more dex he has been on.
 

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Many of the supplements that are supposed to help respiratory problems smell pretty bad and it can be hard to get the horse to eat them. I had great results with Heave Ho and my horse would lick her bucket clean when mixed in some soaked beet pulp.
I also had vets recommend the SmartBreathe Ultra pellets...

Good luck finding something that will work!
 

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That takes a RX to get, the vet already won't answer me about getting more dex he has been on.
Keep calling. Insist. Or haul the horse to a vet. Is that an option? The longer the heaves go on, the more damage it will do.

Just giving more and more Dex doesn't usually resolve the problem long-term and it is a steroid.
 

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all local equine vets have stopped practicing, none travel here to our county.

A vet will come for a price, otherwise you need to trailer to a vet clinic. Heaves isn't something to mess around with, because when it gets severe, it gets scary.

You need to get your horse the medication he needs, and then you can ask the new vet for the script for the medication, and order it as needed.

Right now, what would you do in an emergency if your horse colics or gets severely injured? Not having any idea of what vet you could get to come out, or a vet you could haul your horse to is one of the most dangerous things you can do.

Have you talked to people around you that have horses, to see what vet they use? Or nearby barns?

You need to find a vet, period, because I doubt anything you can buy on the internet will be nearly as effective as a scripted Heaves medication.
 

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That takes a RX to get, the vet already won't answer me about getting more dex he has been on.
Keep calling. Insist. Or haul the horse to a vet. Is that an option? The longer the heaves go on, the more damage it will do.

Just giving more and more Dex doesn't usually resolve the problem long-term and it is a steroid.
No trailer, we sold it when the trucks motor locked up

all local equine vets have stopped practicing, none travel here to our county.

A vet will come for a price, otherwise you need to trailer to a vet clinic. Heaves isn't something to mess around with, because when it gets severe, it gets scary.

You need to get your horse the medication he needs, and then you can ask the new vet for the script for the medication, and order it as needed.

Right now, what would you do in an emergency if your horse colics or gets severely injured? Not having any idea of what vet you could get to come out, or a vet you could haul your horse to is one of the most dangerous things you can do.

Have you talked to people around you that have horses, to see what vet they use? Or nearby barns?

You need to find a vet, period, because I doubt anything you can buy on the internet will be nearly as effective as a scripted Heaves medication.
No trailer and no vet will come out our way for any price, everyone in the county hurts for a vet that cannot trailer out to a different county.
 

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No trailer, we sold it when the trucks motor locked up



No trailer and no vet will come out our way for any price, everyone in the county hurts for a vet that cannot trailer out to a different county.
I find that hard to believe. I have my vet drive 2 hours to get to me (and two hours to go back). I live in a pretty out-of-the-way area. Have you tried just calling up every vet practice neighboring counties? Maybe get together with other horse owners to make it worth the vet's while. Really, I sympathize, it has been really, really hard to get a vet to come out to my horses, but I really think you need more than just online remedies for this.

Can you rent a trailer? Pay someone to haul your horse to a vet?
 

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No trailer, we sold it when the trucks motor locked up



No trailer and no vet will come out our way for any price, everyone in the county hurts for a vet that cannot trailer out to a different county.
I find that hard to believe. I have my vet drive 2 hours to get to me (and two hours to go back). I live in a pretty out-of-the-way area. Have you tried just calling up every vet practice neighboring counties? Maybe get together with other horse owners to make it worth the vet's while. Really, I sympathize, it has been really, really hard to get a vet to come out to my horses, but I really think you need more than just online remedies for this.

Can you rent a trailer? Pay someone to haul your horse to a vet?
I have called all within a 45 min drive and none will come out not even for double the farm call price. We cannot rent a trailer as we don't own a truck anymore and no one willing to haul. The vet who started us out is actually my horses former owner, he will not answer us. There is also.no one that i know, I dont have friends or talk to anyone around us to make it worth while for a vet to come out. If you even speak of such issue to someone around here they will call animal control on you, they are very petty people around here.
 

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I have called all within a 45 min drive and none will come out not even for double the farm call price. We cannot rent a trailer as we don't own a truck anymore and no one willing to haul. The vet who started us out is actually my horses former owner, he will not answer us. There is also.no one that i know, I dont have friends or talk to anyone around us to make it worth while for a vet to come out. If you even speak of such issue to someone around here they will call animal control on you, they are very petty people around here.
It's sure sounding a lot like you don't want to solve your issue.

Good luck.
 

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I have called all within a 45 min drive and none will come out not even for double the farm call price. We cannot rent a trailer as we don't own a truck anymore and no one willing to haul. The vet who started us out is actually my horses former owner, he will not answer us. There is also.no one that i know, I dont have friends or talk to anyone around us to make it worth while for a vet to come out. If you even speak of such issue to someone around here they will call animal control on you, they are very petty people around here.
It's sure sounding a lot like you don't want to solve your issue.

Good luck.
I have exausred all vet options. When we had a trailer I still couldn't take my horse anywhere myself. I cant help that a vet won't drive 45mins down a straight shot hwy. Not every place has vets willing to help and actually drive. I had one that would drive from a hour and a half away, I used to work for her. But she went bankrupt and ended her practice.
 

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Many of the supplements that are supposed to help respiratory problems smell pretty bad and it can be hard to get the horse to eat them. I had great results with Heave Ho and my horse would lick her bucket clean when mixed in some soaked beet pulp.
I also had vets recommend the SmartBreathe Ultra pellets...

Good luck finding something that will work!
Luckily he eats anything. I got him some smart breathe for the time being. His heaves only act up during our wet season, so about 5 months out of a year, starting as soon as hurricane season starts. During the hot dry dusty season he is fine...its strange.
 

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I have exausred all vet options. When we had a trailer I still couldn't take my horse anywhere myself. I cant help that a vet won't drive 45mins down a straight shot hwy. Not every place has vets willing to help and actually drive. I had one that would drive from a hour and a half away, I used to work for her. But she went bankrupt and ended her practice.
So basically, you're telling us that your horse will never see a vet, ever again. I don't know how that can possibly be sustainable. Forget emergencies, this means your horse will not get vaccinations or have his teeth done. I really don't see how we can give you advice for a horse that will never be seen by a vet.
 
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