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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004

    Default Another IAD (heaves, RAO, etc) question; inhalers for breathing issues

    I posted a week or so ago about my horse, who gets exercised-induced breathing problems. Really only at the canter, but now that he is 12, he has progressed from just coughing to having trouble breathing and getting very stiff and unhappy at the canter. Too nice of a horse, too young, and enjoys his job too much to retire. I am in the middle of a 12 day course of dex, and he is doing fabulous. Who would think that lung inflammation would cause such stiffness in his ribcage?

    I started soaking his hay, which I have to think must be helping too. Everything I read points to hay as a big culprit. He is out a lot and in an very well ventilated stall, so there is only so much I can do about his lifestyle. I am in Central Texas which bad for allergies.

    Instead of using more oral dex, I would like to try an inhaler. My vet is researching the medical side for me. Can anyone give me any tips regarding brands, meds, dosages? I have read that you can use human inhalers. But that with horses, like babies, you need a spacer. Does this mean I need a mask?

    This is an extremely compliant quiet horse, so he will tolerate an inhaler to his nose (or a mask if necessary), but I don't want to make a bunch of expensive purchasing mistakes. This board is SO good to help with that!
    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005


    We used to give our guy 15 puffs of Flovent 220, twice a day. I believe a similar alternative would be QVar 80, about 12 puffs twice a day. Some of the other inhaled steroids are too low in dose. One of the would have required 40 puffs twice daily! We decreased the amount to 15 puffs once daily and gradually weaned him off over a couple of months after he was doing well. Inhaled steroids are expensive when you are using the high dose.

    For us, using Dengie instead of hay was very helpful. Our horse went about 5 years without coughing and was able to resume hay after several years of Dengie. Now, he is coughing again, but he is 25.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005


    We used an Aeromask.

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