If your horse has a cough that persists into exercise or is heard while your equine friend is at rest in the barn, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about evaluating your horse for respiratory disease. It could be a problem with the upper airway (the nasal passages and throat) or the lower airway (the lungs).
While waiting for your appointment, try decreasing your horse’s exposure to dust, as that is a primary trigger for lower respiratory disease such as asthma or heaves. Some simple things you can do include avoiding straw bedding; feeding hay on the ground and/or soaking it; not using a leaf blower on barn aisles; not storing hay or bedding above your horse’s stall.
Last but not least: While us humans may be more comfortable with all the barn doors closed up on a cold winter day, your horses’ lungs will appreciate open doors/windows and good ventilation!
As always, if you have questions or would like to learn more about preserving your horse’s respiratory health, your equine veterinarian remains your best source of information!
Brought to you by the AAEP Horse Owner Education Committee.
Read more about managing dust in your horse’s environment in this AAEP article by Kim F Miller: