• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

How to help these heaves?!

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How to help these heaves?!

    My 13 y/o mare has heaves. Ive owned her for about 5 1/2 years now and have been trying to keep her as comfortable as possible. Besides her heaves, she is perfectly healthy and energetic. Ive done plenty of reading and researching but thought id get some opinions on it and managing it.

    I've switched to a more ventilated barn, with a well ventilated stall, kept her away from hay and now have her on soaked hay cubes. She is also turned out for half the day on grass, turning out 24/7 isn't much of an option. She definitely is at her worst in the spring/summer when her allergies aggrivate her heaves. Winter time is much easier on her, but im still just as careful in the winter as summer. I've tried TriHist, doesn't help at all. I tried Dex on her late last summer and definitely saw an improvment.

    A big question of mine is, should I be riding her? I haven't been riding her lately, now that everything is blooming, and I just feel uncomfortable riding when she already is huffing a little. But, I've noticed when I do ride/exercise her, her breathing with come right down and seems improved than before getting exercised. Should I continue to ride throughout the summer? I've been hosing her off on the hot days which I've also noticed calms her breathing and keeps her comfortable.

    What else can/should I do to help my pony?! What supplements would you recommened? Any suggestions are appreciated.

  • #2
    My guy seems more comfortable and shows fewer symptoms when he is fit, so I would try to keep riding your mare as long as she is comfortable with that. Montana's RAO isn't as severe as your mare's case sounds, though - he is turned out 18 hours a day and is able to eat hay that isn't soaked as long as it is clean and high quality.

    I don't have him on any supplements specifically for the heaves, but he does get ground flax seed. Tri-Hist and other similar products never helped him much (but they are corn meal based and he is allergic to corn, so...). When he's having a bad day, I give him Benadryl instead.


    • #3
      Try spirulina, it helps for most horses. I get it at herbalcom, it's cheap but it is an acquired taste, my horse loves it though. I would start with a small amount and work up to about 1/4 c twice a day, if it helps you can then try lowering the dose and find what is needed for maintenance. I do about 1/4 c once a day and feed it in soaked alf pellets.

      I think it is $14 a pound so a cheap experiment.

      Ann Szolas
      Last edited by decorum; May. 23, 2009, 12:37 AM.


      • #4
        Keeping them in consistent work is actually better for them.

        As is 24/7 turnout. If she's really struggling that much, you may want to look for another facility.
        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

        Might be a reason, never an excuse...


        • #5
          Be careful with the Trihist - my horse went on it for 3 days for allergies and ended up with anhidrosis.
          She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!


          • #6
            My horse has heaves except in the winter time. The vet told me that once a horse gets this condition, they will always be prone to get it.

            My horse gets Dex when she is really flared up and then just Albuterol tabs on a regular daily basis. This really seems to help her and we can ride on a regular basis. I definitely think the regular exercise helps also.

            I have found that Trihist does nothing to help the heaves.


            • #7
              My previous horse had heaves and I used to give him MSM once a day-standard dose recommended for joint use. Apparently it works on the inflammation in the lungs just like it does in the joints. I also had him on inhalers when he had a flare up- a mast cell stabilizer, albuterol, and/or steroids depending on the time of year and his reactions to the conditions. My vet at the time thought the inhalers would be better than oral or injectable meds.
              I rode him til the day he passed at age 28-from something other than his heaves. He kept his weight well and was pretty spunky most of the time. He got 24/7 turnout also. If it was a very humid day we didn't work as hard- maybe just walking about or a gentle trail ride and also didn't work as hard on really cold dry days- these two conditions were the kind of days that he had the most troubles.
              I definitely think keeping them fit helps keep them breathing easier. It got so that he rarely had any problems and only needed the inhalers during his peak reactive months.
              Good luck with your horse.


              • #8
                Equine Gold Breathe Ease

                My mare has heaves and is on MSM, flax and Breathe Ease (a traditional chinese medicine).


                When I first started her on it, I gave it daily the first week then 2/day the second week. Then went back down to 1/day and is still on this dosage. She's doing great on this regime! It's taken about 1 month to see a big difference.

                My boarder is a equine vet and she's really surprised how well she's doing. But the real test will be this summer in the heat & humidity.

                The palatability of Breathe Ease is good - smells like cinnamon. There is also a similar product called "Mo Lung" but I haven't tried it yet. It's supposed to be a little cheaper than Breathe Ease.

                You could also join the Heaves-COPD Yahoo Group.


                • #9
                  Do you know exactly what is causing the heaves? For instance, I had a pony with grass heaves: she was allergic to grass. The very simple solution was to keep her inside and not let her eat grass when it was "live," or green. She could be safely turned out in the winter after the first freeze and the grass died. She never needed any medication whatsoever.

                  I realize that what my mare had was an exceedingly rare condition, and chances are your horse doesn't have the same thing. But have you tried removing various things from her diet or environment to try and identify what aggrivates the heaves? Is it more of an asthma-type condition? (Meaning it's not allergy induced but more of a general inflammation kind of thing?)


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by decorum View Post
                    Try spirulina, it helps for most horses. I get it at herbalcom, it's cheap but it is an acquired taste, my horse loves it though. I would start with a small amount and work up to about 1/4 c twice a day, if it helps you can then try lowering the dose and find what is needed for maintenance. I do about 1/4 c once a day and feed it in soaked alf pellets.

                    I think it is $14 a pound so a cheap experiment.

                    Ann Szolas

                    I've been reading that a alot of people have been having success with Spirulina & calming their horses heaves, I think im going to give it a try!


                    • #11
                      Most heavy horses are caused by hay. It is often a HAY alergy, not a dust alergy. Remove ALL the hay (and hay cubes). Feed buckets of soaked beet pulp instead. If they won't eat it at first, just make them know that is ALL they are getting - eat it or not.

                      I have had horses that were mainteined on several dangerous drugs be 100% on none, by removing ALL the hay.

                      Conditioning is important, as well as keeping them fro getting too fat. An eventer with heaves competed at Prelim once I managed his diet. We had one complete a 50 mile ride and win best conditioned.


                      • #12
                        I feel for you. My mare has tested high positive to brome, rye and blue grass pollen. She's not allergic to timothy or alfalfa, so she can have that type of hay. Her allergies have just started to kick in, and will keep up until the first frost. Since she's allergic to the pollen, even when in she's exposed to it in the air. It's more breathing it in rather then actually eating it. She doesn't cough a great deal, but she starts to breath heavily after very little exertion and can't get enough oxygen, even at a walk. This being the case, I can't work her enough to get her fit. Plus her arthritis flares along with the allergies. The only thing that has helped her so far is dex.

                        You might try spirulena, like someone else mentioned. It doesn't seem to help my horse, but other people have good results with it. If you board and can't deal with the fine powder (it goes everywhere), you can get it in tablet form from Springtime, Inc. My mare initially wouldn't eat it initially, but now she thinks it's a treat. It's pricier then bulk powder, but a lot easier to deal with. You work up to 40 grams a day. With the tabs, you give 10 twice a day with their feed.

                        Anyone have any luck with benedryl for respiratory allergy problems? I was thinking of giving that a try to see if it does anything. I'm getting pretty desperate at this point. She really does much better if I can exercise her, but she can't work if she can't breath. Catch 22.


                        • #13
                          I'd submerge the hay in water and feed it like that.

                          Also--a combination of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids may be helpful. (Citrus C-Q is one brand)
                          "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                          ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                          • #14
                            Spirulina + MSM

                            I've had great success with Spirulina plus MSM. I feed 1 tablespoon of spirulina per day when my gelding has a flare up. Otherwise, I feed a maintenance dosage of 1/2 tablespoon per day. It does have a foul odor and I suspect a foul taste. I had to gradually introduce it to my horse.


                            • #15
                              The vet I worked for here in FL gave vetri-cine for heaves. http://www.vetriscience.com/vetri-cine.php

                              Works great. I also use it on my mare that has no see-ums allergies (aka is itchy scratchy). If she is off of the vetri-cine she will rub herself raw.
                              In loving memory of my precious Gwendolyn; you will always be with me, in my heart. I love you.


                              • #16
                                Springtime, Inc. makes a product called DMG 5,600 that's the equivalent to the Vetri-Cine, I believe it costs about 28 cents a day for the maintenance dose. They also have a product called Breather Powder. I'm tempted to try these two in tandem, as it doesn't cost an arm anda leg, and see if they can help. Otherwise, it's back to dex.