Have you noticed your horse being fatigued at the end of a ride, or even coughing? How about mild nasal discharge? These are just a couple of early-stage signs that your horse may be suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD. COPD is a disease that is more likely to affect your horse during the winter months. So what is COPD and how does one treat it?
What is COPD?
COPD is a very serious condition, yet as long as it is diagnosed early, very little suffering will occur. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a common lung disease that makes it difficult for horses to breathe. In horses, COPD can look like chronic coughing, increased respiratory rate, forced abdominal breathing, mild nasal discharge that is watery and thin or exercise intolerance.
There is no cure for COPD, however, in most cases, management and treatment measures can result in improvement and minimize the effects. The most important component of treatment is environmental control to reduce exposure of the horse to the aeroallergens and other pollutants that cause airway inflammation.
How to Treat COPD
The first step to treating COPD is to minimize any risk factors for your horse. These include air pollutants such as dust. Be sure to keep the dust levels very low in your horse's living space, as breathing in too much dust can cause a build-up in their lungs. A trick to produce less dust in their living space is to replace their bedding with a rubber mat instead of hay.
Another preventative measure can be taken via hay. Soaking hay before feeding will help reduce dust levels. The hay must be thoroughly soaked, preferably by submerging the hay in a large tub of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Dry areas in even a small portion of hay can release enough mold spores to cause an allergic reaction. This process should be done no sooner than 20 to 30 minutes before feeding to avoid leaching of water-soluble nutrients from the hay.
Medication and Supplements
When it comes to medicine and supplements, there are several options for you and your horse. They include oral bronchodilators, oral antihistamines, inhalers, antibiotics, oral steroids, omegas for horses and/or thyroid powder.
COPD can also create thyroid gland problems, including damaging and deterioration of the muscles required to breathe, a decrease in lung volume and capacity, and lower oxygen levels in the blood. Low thyroid function causes several complications that exacerbate the problems of COPD. Therefore, treating the thyroid can help reduce the number of effects caused by COPD.
How We Can Help
Getting on track to helping your horse recover from the damages of COPD requires careful attention and maintenance of the thyroid gland. Luckily, thyroid treatments like Heave Ho are an easy and effective form of relief. Heave Ho comes in a powder form, so there is no need to give your horse several different inhalers and medications. The ingredients in our Heave Ho supplement are natural herbs, a high dose of vitamin E and balanced minerals. These herbs help in fortifying your horse’s immune system using phytonutrients, immune modulators, and adaptogens to assist with the stress of breathing issues and anti-inflammatories. To purchase Heave Ho today, visit our website or click here.