I am caring for a horse who has some sort of allergies. (COPD/IAD??). He doesn't have the "heave line".....but I'm on a constant quest to understand it.
He came to me in rough shape after a summer of 115 degree heat index and no meds or soaked hay!
My vet put him on Dex immediately and we then weaned off that and have used the inhaled steriods (flovent/albuteral)...and had him weaned down to 1/2 strength every third day.
My vet said to wean him totally off after a hard freeze (to kill mold in FL)...which I did.
But I notice him having some noise breathing (in not out) when a front is coming in!
In my neck of the woods, we can (and often do) have a few lovely (60-70 degree clear, dry days) and then another cold front comes in which is usually a high humidity/windy/warm day before the rain and huge temp drop. It's been a crazy weather pattern lately.......
My thoughts were the allergies are caused by, well...allergies. Probably mildew and pollen. Why would a front or huimidity trigger a bout? Anyone else had experience with this?
It's happened several times, so I don't think it's a coincidence.
I am extremely allergic to mold. It manifests as extreme, sudden headache. When I walk off an airplane in a damp climate, I have an immediate headache. When I stick my face in a bale of moldy hay I have headache. When wind blows in humid climate, mold spores blow around. Its the spores we are allergic to.
Yes, extreme changes in barometric pressure, especially when accompanied by high humidity and breeze, I am sick.
Mold spores are not killed by dry weather. Spores are dormant until humidity is high enough to trigger growth of new mycelium. But we are allergic to both spores and new mycelium.
I have a heavy gelding that I am trying to figure out also. He was fine last winter but when the weather got hot, he did have very bad attacks. We brought him in, soaked hay, put him behind fans and gave him Clenbuterol and Banamine. He's an EPM survivor so we could not use steriods for his heaves.
I kept up the hay soaking all summer. If I stopped at all and gave him any unsoaked hay, he'd have an attack.
Fast forward to early winter and I forgot to soak his hay one day so with some reservations I gave him unsoaked hay...he was fine...no problems. So I put him back on unsoaked hay and no problems. He's now out with my babies on a round bale with no heaves. Go figure....
So if it's not the hay that is the primary trigger...or if it is related to heat and humidity...that makes sense. We'll see how it goes this Spring but he'll probably have to come in and get fed soaked hay again.
Our big guy (shire/QH cross) has definite seasonal allergies. He came to us from New England in the spring a few years ago with a clean vet check. Imagine our shock when, despite being carefully conditioned, he bled (like a racehorse) at opening hunt. We've spent a lot of time & energy figuring out what sets him off. Soaking his hay made no difference. He seems to be bothered by pollens/molds/whatever in the fall. He's great until about August, then can be a little "coughy" and bothered off & on until we get several good frosts. As soon as I notice the corn starting to go brown, we start treating him & continue until we have snow. He's never had a problem since we started this program.
Katy, I share your mold allergy. It's awful!
~ A true friend knows all there is to know about you and still likes you. -E. Hubbard
Thanks...makes sense about the mold blowing in humid winds....My neighbor lives next to a "wetland"....ie, duck pond. Five out of her six horses came down with heaves the first summer we had a lot of rain (2 years ago) and we all suspected the mold coming off that wetland/swamp. Daydream if you live in "swampland, VA"...that makes a lot of sense to me then....and yes, when it gets hotter and humid, you'd better start treating.
I've about to decide to give this guy a breathing treatment just from the weatherman saying the front is coming...
p.s. One thing I've come to learn is in these very hot,humid summers our local hay growers can't get all the humidity out when they bale the hay. So after the hay sits, even in a covered building, waiting for winter.....mold developes. It may not be the huge"puff" of mold I used to look for....just a bit more of a sour smell. It's that that they are allergic to.
Also,l in the beginning I was just "rinsing" the hay before feeding this horse. The U of FL head internest told me to soak it for 2 hours..drain and then feed. I am amazed at how discolored the water is after soaking, rather than rinsing. It really makes a difference. I thought I was just "rinsing" the mold away, but soaking is so much better. Makes me want to soak EVERYONE's hay, but that is impossible with minimal help and 16 horses on the farm!
We had a boarder horse for years with heaves, and, yes, she had flare-ups with the weather patterns you describe. Not 100% sure why, but those humid/low pressure cycles rotating with drier/high pressure cycle changes (which pretty much describes "summer" in upstate NY) would trigger her symptoms.