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6 year old gelding

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horseplay

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I bought a gelding about 3 years ago from a woman who was not taking care of him, he was stuck in a tiny dusty shed, with a bunch of bales of musty dusty hay most of the time. He had a cough at the time and I had the vet out straight away, they said his trachea maybe constricted or maybe he had heaves. Together w/ the vet we have tried dozens of things to help him but over the last 3 years or so he is getting worse. sometimes he seems o.k. then later he will be belly breathing or he'll have a coughing spell. when is gets hot he has a harder time also. I just don't know what else to do and am now thinking I should consider putting him down. Tonight it's cool out and yet he is belly breathing and trying to get air, breaks my heart that I can't seem to help him.
 

Keri

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Just a thought......could he have an equine version of farmer's lung??? It happens in humans who are exposed to some type of allergen for way too long. Then their body builds up an immunity to it. Its called farmer's lung becuase of farmer's working in hay sheds with a bunch of stuff floating around. The only way to cure it is to remove them completely from the area. Then if they come across the allergen again, they have a hard time breathing. Lifelong problem.

So maybe the horse is allergic to a type of hay or dust??? Maybe put him in a nice bedded stall and feed him beet pulp and grain and see if that helps. And then if he's reintroduced to some type of hay that causes this wheezing, then that's the problem.
 

horseplay

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He can't be kept in, I have a new, well ventilated barn but he is worse in. good suggestion though. also as far as grain he chokes and and it will foam out of his nose at times, I have tried several kinds and ways.
 

Minimor

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Is he having trouble inhaling, or is it exhaling that is difficult. Difficulty in exhaling means heaves; is he on any drugs--ventipulmin for instance? If it is heaves there are treatments that may help, but there are also horses that have very poor breathing even when getting all the drugs possible.

You mention choke when he eats grain. That would almost seem like there is something else going on, though perhaps because his breathing is so bad it's just that he cannot eat grain. I know when I'm all congested with allergies or a cold I sometimes feel like I'm going to choke when I eat, especially certain foods.

Is there any chance a different climate would help him?

Sadly, it could be that having him put down is the kindest thing for him--hard as it is, in some cases it is really the only humane choice. What a shame that he was kept in those awful conditions before you got him. What is wrong with people???
 

AnnaC

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This is going to sound really silly to most folk, but you may be willing to try anything before making that final decision to let him go.

CARROTS! It is so long ago now I cannot remember all the correct terminology, but carrots, when 'broken down' during 'eating' contain something called hydroxy-camphor (Ithink!). This is in fact a natural drug that opens the airways of anyone eating them. Years ago a very well know filly owned I think by the then Aga Khan, was disqualified from winning a Classic Race in the UK because she tested for the 'drug' camphor. It was traced to the fact that she was fed carrots, which according to the drug tests had given her added advantage of 'more wind power' (or something like this).

I researched 'carrots' via a chemist friend and learnt that the above is indeed true.

I then tried it on a horse of mine. I had 'purchased'/saved a 'broken winded' mare for my daughter. This mare 'double breathed' all the time. The vet said she had the use of about 1/4 of her lungs, the rest sounded like crinkly sliver paper LOL! A year later my daughter rode this horse on a sponsored ride from London to York (UK) covering 30 to 35 miles per day approx for 8 days! Two days before we left for this ride the vet came again to check the horse, saying we were mad. He listened, and listened some more. Then pronounced her lungs 100%, and asked for my secret LOL!! (Apart from the carrots the horse was fed a complete food, plus a small wet haynet to help her system keep going through the hours between her last feed around midnight and her first around 7am. She was also stabled, but grazed in hand for 20 minutes a day)

This was a 16 hand horse and she was fed approx 6 lbs of carrots per day sometimes more. You would have to be very careful if you tried this with your little chap, as I would not want him choking on the carrots. Grating them would be an option, but very time consuming. Perhaps slicing them very very thinly and cutting them to about 2 and 1/2 inches long would work (dont leave them full length or one end of them can tickle the back of a minis throat while the latter end is being chewed)

This is just something that worked for me and this horse, and also for my old dressage horse who was nowhere near as bad as the above mare, but did suffer from dust allergies.

Good luck.

Anna
 

ChrystalPaths

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Not so weird Anna, the carrots do work but in his case I would use baby food carrots or purree regular one after a brief steam and feed. Can't hurt.
 

horseplay

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Thank you for the replies, He has been on Ventipulmin and 2 other drugs that I can't think of the names of off hand and none of them helped. When he first came here I thought maybe he had worms but that wasn't the case, I shouldn't say that wasn't the case because he was full of worms but after routine worming and testing that wasn't it, unless the worms damaged his lungs. He has been tubed when we thought his trachea had collaped in the past. As far as if it's on the exhale ot inhale, it's hard to tell, his breathing is really fast, short breaths. The carrot thing is new to me, I will try this and see what happens.
 

Miniv

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Carrots!??? Well.......... that was fascinating. I just learned something.
 

Endless

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We had a quarter horse gelding while living in Florida and he couldnt breathe either, he was also on the Ventipulmin at very high doses and it didnt work for him either. Finally the Vet suggested steriods he felt that even though later in life it could cut a few years off his life it did enhance his life at the time. We put him on Dex (a very small dose) 1 times a day and it worked great! Later we moved to Canada and the drugs where no longer needed I believe the change of climate was really good for him. He also had some food allergies and certain brands made him choke. Hope you find something that works for yours!
 

PaintedMeadows

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Very interesting about the carrots. Would cooking them lightly take away the benefits? What about pureeing raw carrots in a food processor or blender? I hope they help him out. Please keep us updated and givehim a big kiss from me!!
 

lotsofspots

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Here is something else to ponder.....I acquired a 12-y-o mini gelding last year who had a previous case of choke. Whenever he ate grain, he would cough, which would expel the grain out his nose. My vet said to feed him wet pellets...which I did.....that problem was then solved! Good luck...don't give up yet! I like the carrot idea, too.
 

Carolyn R

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I had an arab cross mare that I grew up with. I got her as a baby when I was a kid. In her twenties she developed coughing and wheezing. The way she coughed, I would have never thought it, but She had allergies.

The vet treated her with steroids. She said if that didn't work they could put her on a horsey asperator. The steroids did work. It was a yearly thing every spring. She did have to be put down a few years later due to cancer, but during the time she did have, she was comfortable. The steroids really weren't expensive.

The question we all ask ourselves when we are faced with that very hard choice is can we control and manage their pain? From there we need to make the best choice possible.

Sending good thoughts your way,


Carolyn
 

AnnaC

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Re the carrots - I'm not sure how or whether it works if they are cooked. Pureed in a blender sounds good tho! I do know that to release one of the vitamins in carrots, light cooking is best. But the hydroxy-camphor is not a 'vitamin', and it is possible cooking would 'ruin' the possiblility to 'taking up' the camphor, as this is a by product obtained by eating and digesting the carrots. Think this is a question we would have to ask a qualified chemist or someone.

Sorry if this sounds all a bit muddled LOL! I'm not really too sure what I'm talking about!!

Anna
 
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