Does this indicate that he is allergic to the hay/shavings/dust or the pasture? He started showing signs for the first time last month (June). He is 20. We moved barns and now he has 2 options:
a) pasture 24/7 and hay at night but not soaked
b) pasture during the day and stalled all night but with soaked hay
Which would you do? He had been doing B routine for a few days and when I walked him out of his stall yesterday he coughed a few times (haven't heard him cough before then in over a week), which scared me, so I switched him over to option A.
Well I came out today and while it was really hot and sunny, he was blowing more than I would expect him to. His resp rate today was 28. Of course when I took him to the vet school last week it was 13.
COPD is usually due to the sum of many irritants. So add in dust from hay plus for example pollen, and you might end up with symptoms whereas either irritant alone would not produce a reaction. Personally I'd be inclined to go with keeping the horse out. The unsoaked hay is not ideal but assuming its not moldy I think there would be fewer irritants than soaked hay in a barn.
I had one develop a persistent cough with wheezing and rales along with visible heave line.
My vet diagnosed SAD (Small Airway Disease) - a precursor to COPD.
3 months of Clenbuterol cleared him up along with changing bedding back to shavings from the corncobs I'd started using ~6mos prior to first symptom.My horse was on
24/7 T/O with access to his stall, but never stalled.
Google told me the cobs had been identified as causing respiratory problems in dairy cattle due to mold.
So I am inclined to believe SAD from the same cause.
Especially since at the vet exam after Clenbuterol TX, when all symptoms disappeared, vet told me lungs were so clear he'd have not believed it was the same horse if he had not treated him earlier.
I agree with Eventer13 that 24/7 T/O will probably be more helpful unless horse is allergic to something in pasture.
In that event, your sleuthing will be needed and perhaps allergy testing.
Hope your guy feels better ASAP!
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
I should clarify that his "stall" is a shedrow facing out. He goes out with 2 other horses and the worker is throwing about 8 flakes of hay out...so I guess it is hard for her to soak the hay for outside since it is so much.