I am going to try Ventipulmin for my horse. His breathing has gotten progressively worse as he gets older. He used to sort of work out of his coughing, but now once I canter, he has a lot of trouble breathing, acts like he wants to cough, but can't. I am waiting for my Rx of Ventipulmin, and my vet and I will discuss dosage, regimen, etc.
I am interested to know if any one else has a horse with mild heaves, COPD, inflammatory airway disease, and the like. I think it may be all pretty much the same thing.
Because he is fine except when being ridden, I am wondering if I can use it only on days when he is ridden. Also, I want to start with a really low dose to see how little I can use and still help him. I have heard it can make them react with sweating and a quicker heartrate, so I don't want to use any more than I have to.
BTW, supplements like Smartbreathe have helped, but are not enough anymore. I am also trying Ani-hist until the Ventipulmin comes to compare results.
Anyone using it sporatically? Low dose?
Last edited by ToTheNines; Feb. 7, 2013 at 03:49 PM.
I don't know if my horse would fall into the mild category but he DEFINITELY falls into the sporadic category. Some days he's fine and others I ride him and after about 5 minutes of work he can hardly breathe. His also appears to be only induced by exercise as he is fine in the field. I have used the following to manage it with great success (note: he has had episodes since being on this regime but they are very few and far between).
-24/7 turnout, with no bedding in run-ins
-Switched from hay to soaked alfalfa cubes
-Feed straw to give him his much needed chewing time. He is a very easy keeper but he NEEDS the chewing time and giving him more alfalfa cubes would probably make him very obese and cause him to founder. Oddly enough, he loves his straw and it doesn't seem to have the allergens that the hay did.
-Supplement Spirulina, SmartBreathe, and MSM
-Use Air Power on bad days
If all of the above fails and he's having a really bad day, I will give him ~3ccs of Ventipulmin before I hop on. So yes, I do use it very irregularly with much success. This makes sense to me because I have asthma and when I have an attack, I use Albuterol as a "rescue" inhaler. According to my vet, Ventipulmin (Clenbuterol) is the same thing as Albuterol except that it is about 100 times stronger so it seems to me that it could act as a "rescue" medication for my horse.
I hope this helps, breathing issues are no fun at all.
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
I posted this in another thread in Horse Care which was called "cough. cough. cough-cough-cough" -- if you can find that might get some more ideas:
If you get a COPD/RAO diagnosis: I have a 16 year old with COPD who has done well with an inhaler (not a nebulizer), getting daily puffs of fluticasone, and puffs of albuterol as needed. When he has a bad flareup, the vet has set out a precise regimen of decreasing oral dexamethasone that smacks down the inflammation and that he tolerates well. I hunt this horse, so his disease is either early stages and/or my vet's program is managing it pretty successfully.
BTW, he lived in a stall, turned out all day, in Massachusetts until I moved here three years ago. We gave him soaked hay and prednisolone as needed up there. Now, he lives out 24/7 and doesn't get hay at all from say April to November, so I expected he'd be much better. Wrong; his worst-ever attacks are in August, when he hasn't been near a flake of hay or spent more than 10 minutes in a stall for months. He's allergic to goldenrod, daisies, dandelions, etc. etc. So I plan to increase the number of puffs of the fluticasone as we come into late May.
Back to current thread: I have found the albuterol inhaler much more effective with this horse than the oral ventipulmin, FWIW. And, added benefit that the medication is only going where it's needed, the lungs, instead of being digested and going through the entire body.
I believe ventipulmin loses effectiveness if it is used more than 14 days in a row; I can probably hunt down that study if you are interested (your vet might know all about that). Good luck!
My horse also suffered from exercised induced airway obstruction caused by allergies. We live in the midwest so his was seasonal. And I understand not wanting to go the steroid route....I did that for two show seasons in order to control it enough for showing. I also did the turnout, steamed hay, special bedding (shredded paper) etc, etc, etc. All helped but did not alleviate his condition.
After the second year I worked with a wholistic DVM who also had extensive training in Chinese medicine. I didn't go into it believing that herbal medicine would help that much but I am now a total believer. herbs are not neccesarily safer so I highly recommend working with a DVM who knows what they are doing. And if your horse is like mine was, the over the counter supplements will not help that much.
My boy was on several herbal medicines for two years and we also moved him to a more wholistic diet removing processed grains. Two years later we do not have to use anything now as the wholistic, herbal treatment alleviated the issue. just a whole grain diet. he is back on pine shavings, regular hay but does have a run off his stall so he is out most of the time.
So I would highly recommend working with an expert in Chinese medicine and trying the herbal route. It made all the difference in my boy's quality of life.
as a side note, he is also allergic to the silicone coating on needles so we had to research and find non-silicone needles. Otherwise he gets a huge welt at the injection site. where there is one allergy there is usually more!