A horse coughs- The sight of a horse coughing is heart-wrenching and
triggers great concern among many horse owners. This concern is justified, because horse cough is not due to a small cold as in humans and also passes by itself in the rarest cases. Because when a horse first coughs, is often based on a well-founded disorder, either due to the way the horse is kept, due to incorrect feeding or due to a contagious infection.
Horse coughs – clarification and treatment by the veterinarian
Of course, the call to the veterinarian is always a question of cost, but responsible horse owners should always invest in a professional clarification of the causes, especially if the horse has already been Mucus from the nostrils cough and the cough threatens to become chronic. The mucus must be drug treatment to make it easier for the horse to breathe again and also to prevent late effects such as an allergy to hay dust and straw dust. In most cases the veterinarian prescribes a cough suppressant based on acetylcysteine or dembrexin, but if the cough has a bacterial cause, the Use of an antibiotic necessary.
However, only the veterinarian can determine which medication is the right one; treating the horse on your own with over-the-counter medications can often do more harm than good when the horse is coughing.
A distinction is made between the following types of cough:
– Acute cough – Allergic cough – Chronic cough
Acute cough in horses
The most common cause of sudden coughing in horses is bronchitis. It is said that on average a quarter of all horses are affected once a year by such an infection caused by viruses. Bronchitis in horses is usually triggered by influenza or herpes viruses. Normally the bronchitis subsides after 1-2 weeks and with it the cough. However, the horse is only ca. 3 months after an acute bronchitis again fully loadable.
– Horse spare – cough and expectorant – herpes and influenza vaccination as prevention always keep up to date
Allergies can also cause coughing in horses
Allergies can also trigger coughing in the horse. For example, a lot of dust in the stable caused by bedding. Triggers include hay dust, mold spores in hay stirred up during feeding, and lung-irritating ammonia gases from horse urine that accumulates in poorly ventilated stalls. But also a dusty riding surface that is swirled up and inhaled by the horse while riding can cause irritation of the horse's lungs and thus coughing. Some horses also react to grasses and pollen.
– ensure good stable hygiene – ensure good ventilation in the stable – feed good hay without mold – water hay before feeding – use good friction flooring that is not dusty – use dust-free bedding that is suitable for allergic horses
Chronic coughing in horses harbors dangers
A horse is said to have a chronic cough if the cough lasts longer than 2 weeks. A chronic cough can develop on the basis of an unhealed acute bronchitis. If the horse coughs and is not rested long enough following an acute bronchitis and is loaded again too soon, the probability of chronic bronchitis increases many times over. A chronic cough carries the risk of damping off as it progresses, causing lower exercise tolerance and respiratory distress.
treatment and prevention:
– Administration of antibiotics if the viral infection turns into a bacterial one – Inhalation to dilate the bronchial tubes and to stop inflammation – Optimize housing conditions
Cough syrup and expectorants for horse coughs
Many equestrian stores offer cough syrups and herbal mixtures and cures that have a positive effect on the horse's respiratory system. Herbs used for cough include ribwort, thyme, anise, fennel and coltsfoot. These herbs have an anti-inflammatory effect. Mucolytic for the bronchial tubes. In addition, the antispasmodic properties. Thus, soothe the mucous membranes. However, one can also use healthy cough syrup. Make your own expectorant. Here you can find the recipes.
Fighting the horse cough with phytotherapy
Chemical medications must not be a permanent solution, as they can strain the organism and attack organs such as the heart and liver. In horses with a chronic cough, therefore, the Phytotherapy, i.e. the treatment with medically effective forage plants, proven. Many medicinal plants known to us humans from our own medicine cabinet also have an expectorant, decongestant and antibacterial effect on horses. These include Sage and thyme just as Fennel, anise or cowslip. These can be in winter Boiled up as tea and be fed as mash, or also are given dry in the normal concentrate feed.
In addition to the medication, optimize the housing conditions of the coughing horse
However, treatment with medication always has side effects and puts a strain on the horse's overall organism, and as necessary as it is in many cases, it can only be an immediate palliative measure. If you don't get to the bottom of the causes of coughing, you can't keep your horse healthy in the long run, because often the way a horse is kept is one reason why it coughs.
To To relieve, prevent or permanently cure coughs, it always helps to keep in mind how horses live in the wild, because wild horses never get sick with cough, so it can belong to the "Diseases of civilization are counted in the realm of horses. The horse is one of the so-called "ambling animals", i.e. it moves around in the fresh air all day in a natural way of life while foraging for food. The the most natural way of keeping horses is still to keep them in the pasture, which no stable, no matter how well designed, can really replace. However, in our latitudes Not all horse breeds are suitable for year-round pasture keeping, so that we, as owners, have to create alternatives that effectively prevent a chronic cough right from the start and make life easier for a horse that is already coughing.
Attitude as a trigger for coughing in horses
Often the cause of equine coughing lies in Boxing and the feeding. The acrid smell of ammonia in horse manure strains the respiratory tract as well as the dust that escapes hay and straw. Mite droppings, mold, various fungal spores or even pollen in the hay trigger a cough, especially in sensitive horses, which can develop into a permanent bronchitis that can lead to steaming. Stress and lack of exercise also promote coughing.
So meticulous cleanliness in the stable and regular mucking out are just as important as the quality of hay and straw. If the roughage and bedding have gray or even black spots, or if a dense cloud of dust escapes from the hay as soon as it is shaken up, it must not be fed under any circumstances.
Using low quality hay as bedding for cost reasons should also not be a solution. Hay and straw only belong near horses when they are clean, dry and dust free and give off a fresh scent. For susceptible horses, it is also advisable to moisten the hay with fresh water before feeding. For this purpose it can be filled in a hay net. Then be immersed in a barrel of water. But be careful when lifting out the watered hay, it can be quite heavy!
Promote the health of the coughing horse with fresh air and exercise
Also a well ventilated stable cannot replace the run in the fresh air. Of course, a window in the box can provide a little relief, but regular exercise in the fresh air is better. If you don't have the opportunity to put your horse out to pasture for a few hours a day, even in winter, you should at least try to do so on the paddock let. As a permanent solution is offered naturally the open stable attitude to. Regular exercise is also a supporting factor in the treatment of coughing. Gentle cross-country rides support the self-cleaning effect of the respiratory organs. Promote naturally also the entire resistance strength of the animal. avoid the formation of dust. So that also that the horse coughs.