Have you recently noticed your horse coughing? Are you driving yourself crazy thinking of all the possible reasons, but don't have the slightest idea why?
It's hard trying to think of all the possible reasons for your horse to cough. It is a common problem in horses, and can be quite a challenge to diagnose.
I know this all too well, because I have experienced it myself. There are a number of reasons as to why your horse is coughing.
Let's take a moment to go over all the details to help figure out a possible cause for your horse to cough..
First of all, you need to relax, you wont be able to help your horse if you don't. A coughing horse needs your full attention...
Secondly, you need to figure out what the cause is. You must ask yourself, "why is he coughing?" to be able to find a suitable solution. I always suggest to contact your vet, no matter how knowledgable you are.
Lastly, you need to treat it. Your horse needs the relief. Whether it is a simple change in hay, location or medications and other remedies.
Horses will tend to cough very now and then, like we do. When coughing is chronic though, you need to act on it. You should always consult a veterinarian as it could be something serious like Equine Flu or Strangles.
A few possible reasons for your horse to cough:
Exercise Induced Coughing
Some horses will cough during exercise and not while standing in the barn. This is similar to humans having asthma. It can be that your horse is just clearing their airway or it gets worse during or after work.
Horses can be kept in moderate work if the problem is carefully watched. Coughing attacks or fits could mean that your horse will need to be retired.
There are many herbs and treatments to help boost immune systems, but not all horses will respond or there is no infection to fight. This usually means there is a chance of lung problems.
This is one of the most common coughs. Horses at rest, normally in the stable or barn. It can be brought on, or made worse by eating, drinking, lying down or during sweeping. It can come and go with the changes of the seasons.
A dry cough with a wheezing cough, which can last for a couple of minutes each time. It will be considered chronic if it has been on going for 4 weeks. There may or may not be any changes in nasal discharge or elevated respiratory rate.
A chronic cough usually isn't caused by lung problems. I would recommend trying Hiltons Freeway, it is fast temporary relief cough drop remedy, without any side effects.
Having fresh air flowing all the time, like being outside or having a window helps horse coughing, as well as boosting your horses immune system.
Soaking your horses hay and turning your horse out more combined with a herbal product with help with a cough. All of these will help it your horse is prescribed with antibiotics.
Heaves or Allergies
A horse is said to have heaves if they find breathing hard as a result of long exposure to allergies. With heaves, horses can cough either at rest or during exercise. Horses can become sensitive to allergens like mould, just like we can. Allergies can cause horse coughing, sneezing and nasal discharge. Heaves are usually linked to stable cough.
Viral and Bacterial Infections
These are difficult to treat as there are several types or forms of infection like bacterial pneumonia, upper respiratory infraction and pleuritis. These are unpleasant and can often be fatal if not treated early.
Antibiotics wont help with a viral infection, but are great for bacterial infections. Has your horse been depressed, not eating well, increased heart rate, a runny nose with a cough and fever? Chances are that your horse is suffering from an infection.
Horse coughing needs attention, you need to give 100%. Call the vet immediately and ask for professional advice. It is better to pay for catching what ever is wrong in the early stages than ending up with hospitalization or death. You as a horse lover and rider have a responsibility to protect your equine friend.
If you care for your horse, you would do anything to protect him. Having a regular routine helps you to go over your horse's physical health everyday. This makes it much easier to notice early signs of illness or changes that can lead to problems later on.
Having a happy healthy horse, keeps you happy!