Coughing in horses

Cough in horses – causes and treatmentCoughing can occur in horses for a variety of reasons. Possible causes are infections or allergies. Treatment depends on the trigger.

Allergic cough is usually a chronic cough that tends to be dry and occurs more often after feeding dry, dusty hay. Treatment of a cough caused by allergy is usually difficult. Focuses mainly on the attitude of the horse. Hay should be watered before feeding. The horse should get plenty of fresh air without drafts.

Treatment with antihistamines or desensitization is only recommended as a last resort in horses. Since most horses react to Antihistamines If the horse does not react well or not at all, this should only be tried if all other therapies have been unsuccessful.

The Desensitization is currently considered not yet mature for horses, because the substances needed for this are not yet broken down far enough at the current time. Therefore, desensitization should be tried only when all else has failed. Sudden cough with expectoration. A worsened general condition of the horse is more likely to indicate an infection. In this case, pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or lungworms are often the cause of the cough.

In such cases, the veterinarian usually prescribes medication. In case of a bacterial infection it is useful to give an antibiotic. In addition, if a horse coughs and mucus is noticed or the cough sounds moist, an expectorant such as Sputolysin® is often given as a cough suppressant.

However, it is strongly advised to consult a veterinarian before administering a cough remedy. Treating a horse with a cough on your own without consultation is not recommended. Because this might delay the necessary administration of an antibiotic or further examinations, for example of the larynx.

Especially the independent administration of ACC or normal cough syrup is recommended as a remedy for horse cough not recommended, as most of the active ingredients are metabolized differently in horses than in humans, so they may not work properly in horses.

Home remedies to support the treatment

Of course, the horse owner can support the treatment of the cough after a clear diagnosis by the veterinarian with home remedies – but only if this is agreed with the veterinarian. To loosen the mucus, for example, tea can be added to the therapy of the veterinarian. Fennel tea is particularly well suited for this.

But also other herbs are suitable to support the therapy of horse cough. In the case of an irritating cough or laryngitis, chamomile can help to soothe the ties. Black cumin oil is said to strengthen the immune system. Could therefore also be a useful tool to support the treatment.

However, caution is also advised with regard to herbs. Onions are often recommended in various forms, for example as onion juice, for the treatment of coughs. This may often be a good home remedy for coughs in humans, but it is important to note that onions are toxic to horses. Therefore, onion juice or similar should definitely be avoided.

Homeopathy for horse cough

Homeopathy can also be used in the form of globules or other instruments to support the therapy of the cough. However, even homeopathic remedies should only be administered after the veterinarian has made a diagnosis, as horses are very sensitive to respiratory diseases and the wrong treatment can make the disease worse.

Schuessler salts® against cough in horses

Also Schussler salts® can be used as a supportive therapy for equine cough. However, just like homeopathy, they should not be used as the sole therapy, because they are not sufficient in severe diseases.

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What to do if the cough does not get better?

If the horse's cough does not improve despite treatment, the veterinarian should be consulted again.

In such a case, a bronchoscopy may then be necessary, during which a so-called lavage sample is taken from the lungs (bronchoalveolar lavage). Sometimes it is even necessary to take a biopsy (sample of lung tie) in order to determine the cause of the cough and to enable appropriate treatment of the horse.


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