Horses, Heat and Heaves - update and pics of new foster 8/7

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Lorije1, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    Anyone have any advice for me? My 28yr old mare, Skye, is really suffering with her 'heaves' in this heat. (96* with a heat index of 111*) It is supposed to be up to 115 tomorrow. She has a box fan in her stall, but I don't keep her shut in because it is still sweltering in the barn. I have hosed her down a few times - this last time when I went to check on her she had green snot in one nostril (sorry), both nostrils were blood red and she was breathing so hard her head was bobbing. It took over 20 minutes to get her cooled down running a hose on her whole body, then chest, neck and inner thighs.

    She is on Dex pills every other day, and I went yesterday to the vet adn picked up some "Tri-Hist"... of course it hasn't made a difference after only 2 doses.

    She has tons of shade, some of it very deep shade (shaded all day long) - but it is just too hot and humid for an old horse with respiratory problems.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Poor thing... [​IMG]
  3. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    Bless the old gal. Steroids and antihistamines are the drugs of choice for 'heavey' horses. In advanced cases their are other drugs that can be used to keep patient comfortable. I will not discuss these drugs as a veterinarian needs to RX these. See if your vet wants to add something for pain as rapid breathing with dilated, reddened nostrils can indicate discomfort. Greenish nasal discharge might be an abscessed tooth which geriatric horses are famous for.

    Keeping her cool will help. Making sure her hay is dust free as possible is an added bonus. Don't use round bales and spread her hay out and water it down.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  4. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010

    my vet mentioned yesterday that we may have to put her on bronchodilators. I am willing to pay the expense, but sure hoped to avoid it. She won't eat hay , never has in the summer time, we have a decent pasture and she just leaves the hay.

    This is the first time I have noticed the green.... I was wondering if it could be the allergy part of the heaves?
  5. babyblue

    babyblue Songster

    Sep 23, 2009
    one of the old horses at the barn specifically only had heaves when kept inside... turned out he was allergic to the dust that is inevitably in hay and once the hay storage was moved to another barn it got much better.

    for your poor mare I would soak any hay that is offered to her... she’s not dumb and may realize if she eats dusty hay it makes her feel worse so goes for the good pasture instead. if she’s over heating so bad I would keep hosing her to keep her wet. if your old girl is calm and deals well with strange things I would wet some towels down, throw them in the freezer and then wrap one around her neck like a handkerchief. it would help her cool down and just change it out as it warms up.

    Other then that I would talk to the vet about some different medications, even just to have a little on hand to deal with the super hot days would be better then none.
  6. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Got a stall in the garage that you can install a box window AC unit??? That would work wonders LOL! However I don't know if our hubbies can stand having horses in garages.
  7. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    babyblue... yeah, our old barn is pretty much held together by dust, that is why I don't want to shut her up in there. We always wet her hay - mostly out of habit. She won't drink cold water in the winter so we wet hay as a way to get a little moisture in her (I also haul about 10gal of warm /hot water from the house to her in the winter lol ) and just keep on wetting it down throughout the year.
    I have gone out about every hour - 2 and wet her down. We have a storm rolling in so it has dropped about 10* pretty quickly.
    Good idea about freezing stuff - I have had her since she was 6 and I believe she would do or try to do just about anything I asked of her, so towels shouldn't be an issue.

    Ewe - lol I am single but the only garage is at my folks house, so I still would have my dad to contend with LOL. I DO have a window AC though mwahahaha
  8. Beth G.

    Beth G. Gaetano Family Farm

    Prednisone. You can call your vet and actually have them fill it at the pharmacy and pred is really cheap. The vet should give you a table of dosing starting off high then slowly decreasing. Then down to a small dose every other day. It's the only thing that helps open them up to breath better. Hope she feels better soon!
  9. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    I hosed mine off about 3 to 4 times a day. Really helped him out a lot.
  10. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Songster

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    I kept a "heavey" gelding for many years. However, we had the vet draw blood and send it off to a lab in NM that specialized in allergies. Turned out he was allergic to everything--bermuda grass, pine trees, dust, most hays, all beddings, molds--you name it, he was allergic to it. About 32 individual things all told. The lab loaded the allergy meds for all 32 items into an allergy shot that he received once a month. Actually, now that I think about it, they could only put 20 per shot, so he had to have 2 shots. But those shots stopped it all--all the blowing and sweating. I still could not ride him, but at least he did not suffer. I gave him monthly shots for over 5 years. In fact, when I finally did lose him it was to a cancer and not to COPD at all.

    There was a really good article in the AQHA Journal about it a few years back that talked about COPD and allergies and allergy shots--the whole 9 yards. Meanwhile do talk to your vet or your state vet school if your local guy is not knowledgeable.



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