TAKE A CLOSER LOOK

EQUUS - - Eq Handson -

• In­spect the dis­charge. Make note of its color, odor, quan­tity and con­sis­tency. Note the pres­ence of any for­eign ma­te­rial such as chewed food­stuffs, dust or de­bris, and whether it’s com­ing from one or both nos­trils. If your phone is handy, take pho­tos to share with your vet­eri­nar­ian and to keep track of changes over time.

• Ob­serve your horse’s de­meanor. Does he seem “dull” or lethar­gic? Con­versely, is he act­ing anx­ious or stressed? Has he been eat­ing and drink­ing nor­mally? Is he cough­ing?

• Check his vi­tal signs. Is he run­ning a fever? Check his pulse: An el­e­vated heart rate in a rest­ing horse could be an in­di­ca­tion of pain. If your horse coughs, has a fever and shows other signs of ill­ness in ad­di­tion to a runny nose, a res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease may be de­vel­op­ing and you’ll need to call the vet­eri­nar­ian.

On the other hand, if your horse’s nasal dis­charge is clear and wa­tery, and he

oth­er­wise seems well, then it’s prob­a­bly noth­ing to worry about. He most likely in­haled a bit of hay or dust that caused some lo­cal­ized ir­ri­ta­tion in his nasal pas­sages. Or per­haps he got a bit of dust in his eye, and the ex­cess tears are drain­ing through his nos­trils. Wipe the mois­ture away, but keep an eye on your horse to make sure the dis­charge does not re­turn.

A trickle of bright-red blood that stops within min­utes is also prob­a­bly noth­ing to worry about. Your horse most likely scratched the in­te­rior of one nos­tril on a stick in the grass or a stemmy piece of hay.

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