Airway problems are common conditions in horses. Every horse coughs sometimes but it's difficult to determine whether it's an innocent cough or you have to call the vet.
As a horse coughs, this results in inhalation of particles that directly irritate the respiratory tract or damage to the respiratory tract caused by bacterial or viral infections. This may indicate one of the following three conditions:
1. Chronic bronchitis in horses
2. Asthmatic bronchitis in horses
3. Dampy horses / emphysema
With all groups of coughing horses, minimizing dust in the vicinity of your horse is crucial. Horses with bronchitis cough every now and then and sometimes have some nasal discharge, but that remains. Many horses develop a kind of hypersensitivity to dust at this stage. In particular dust, fungi and bacteria from hay and straw play a role.
Substance is a very broad concept where all the particles must be understood as being able to come into the air (from hay, straw, sawdust, sand, cement, pollen, thatched roofs, sweeping in the stable etc). Also gases such as sulfur dioxide, ammonia, nitrogen oxides and the like can be stimulating.
- Give a coughing horse the necessary rest
- Replace the straw in the stable through wood shavings, as straw also contains dust, fungi and mites
- The horse must not get more dry hay. If you still want to feed hay, immerse it in a bowl of water before feeding it
- Preferably use a good quality pre-drying pellet, or Hartog Gras-mix or Hartog Compact Grass as a roughage. Hartog Gras-mix and Hartog Compact Grass are dried at high temperatures in a very short time, thus destroying bacteria, dust, fungi and mites in the product.
- Keep the stable dust free
- Ensure good ventilation in the stable
- Prevent a ride in the stable
A wise owner makes every effort to reduce dust and improve the climate. Of course there are still horses that keep coughing. Then medicines may be needed to improve the situation.
Warning the vet
If your horse feels fevery, has a nasal outflow and has no way of making any sense, 'it is important to let the vet assess the severity of the disease and what therapy is needed. There are various medicines and means to cure a coughing horse. Read more about curing stall allergies in horses.
If your horse coughs only a few times, but does not show any serious illness, it is also advisable to consult your vet. This coughing of your horse can also be a sign of a chronic respiratory disease. Coughing is always a reaction to respiratory irritation.
Always make the prescribed solution with medication!
Source: S.Boerma, Paardenkliniek Garijp