Horses are quite prone to coughing and can have sensitive respiratory systems. Irritations can be caused by a number of things including allergies, hay dust, bedding and more.
The result can be a pesky cough, particularly when they’re standing in the stable and warming up while working. Of course, this is uncomfortable for them - it can compromise their ability to exercise, keep them from catching their breath and lead to burst blood vessels in their nasal system. Long term irritations can cause more significant damage to the lungs.
It’s important to ensure that the horse’s respiratory system is taken care of and that coughing and respiratory strain is kept to minimum.
Addressing a Cough:
It’s important to ensure that if your horse is coughing, it doesn’t have an infection or a respiratory condition. Therefore, it is essential to consult your vet and ensure that a clinical issue isn’t at hand. If the problem is confirmed to be a non-clinical irritation or an allergy, then there are various approaches you can take to address the issue.
Turn Out - It may be beneficial, if possible, to turn your horse out either more or full time. This may be difficult if you don’t have much space or the weather is bad. However, increasing turn out time will keep your horse moving, reduce the inhalation of dust and give them the opportunity to lower their heads to the ground to graze, draining their nasal system of any irritants.
Feed from the Ground - Ensure that when you offer your horse feed or hay, you feed them from the ground. This is important for their muscular and digestive systems (see link to other blog post). It’s also important for their respiratory systems. As mentioned above, it helps your horse’s airways to drain of any excess fluid and discharge irritants. It also stops any dust from the feed/ hay from being inhaled and obstructing the airways.
Wet Feed - One way to reduce the amount of dust that your horse is exposed to is to wet down the feed your are offering and/or soak the hay. This reduces dust and in many cases makes the feed a little more appealing, so this can help if your horse is a fussy eater too.
Examine Your Bedding - Bedding is a major source of dust and can cause real problems for horse’s airways. Ensure that if you’re using shavings they are low in dust and if your horse is having a hard time, you may find a different bedding is beneficial. There are lots of great bedding products on the market now to reduce this problem!
Warm Up Gently - If your horse has ongoing irritation that presents itself when they start working, it can help to warm up slowly and gently. Start with a walk and ensure your horse seems comfortable in their breathing. Then begin a trot and ensure your horse still seems comfortable before asking
for anything more taxing.
Support healthy airways with a supplement - Prevention is better than a cure and ensuring that your horse’s airways are strong and healthy at all times will help to ensure that their breathing is easy and optimal. It will make them less reactive to environmental factors that could make things
Our product, Breathe Rite is 100% herbal and maintains the airways in great condition so that your horse can always breathe easy. Breathe Rite also provides support for compromised or irritated airways, which makes your horse more comfortable and gives you peace of mind.
Lung function is essential to good health and in order for your horse to be able to get the exercise it needs, move freely, breathe comfortably, it needs to be kept in top condition. There are a number of small changes you can make to your horse’s daily routine to help alleviate breathing difficulties.
For full spectrum support, a product such as Breathe Rite will help them to perform at their best and get the most from every breath.