Once a horse has de­vel­oped heaves, he will al­ways be more sus­cep­ti­ble to flare-ups when he en­coun­ters even small amounts of the sub­stances that af­fect him.

EQUUS - - Eq Conversati­ons -

that in­hibits the func­tion­ing of the small air­ways.

• Mu­cus buildup: flam­ma­tion caused by neu­trophils

stim­u­lates the over­pro­duc­tion of

thicker, stick­ier mu­cus than is found in

nor­mal horses.

The type of in-

Once a horse has de­vel­oped RAO,

he will al­ways be more sus­cep­ti­ble to

flare-ups when he en­coun­ters even

small amounts of the sub­stances that

af­fect him. “I ex­plain it to horse own­ers

by com­par­ing this to hu­man al­ler­gies,”

says Lau­rent L. Cou­etil, DVM, PhD,

DACVIM, of Pur­due Univer­sity. “If you

are se­verely al­ler­gic to cats, a few cat

hairs may cause as much re­ac­tion as

the whole cat. If you walk into a room

where there was a cat, you can tell---

be­cause you re­spond to it. Some horses

equately to pre­vent heaves, but I’ve only

had two that needed med­i­ca­tion once in

a while be­cause res­pi­ra­tory prob­lems

would flare up. The rest have done fine

just with our man­age­ment, with no

med­i­ca­tion. They live at the farm, and

when they are not in a study they are

out­doors 24-7 with just a shel­ter in their

pas­ture. They are fed a com­plete pel­leted

feed dur­ing the win­ter when there is not

enough grass.”

Your best ad­vi­sor for ad­dress­ing your

horse’s par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion is, of course,

your vet­eri­nar­ian. And you may need to

do a lit­tle de­tec­tive work to iden­tify ele-

ments in a horse’s en­vi­ron­ment most

likely to trig­ger RAO. But, to help you get

started, we’ve com­piled a list of the mea-

sures most com­monly rec­om­mended to

re­duce the stress on horses with heaves.

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