Suggestions for Managing Horses with Respiratory Conditions

Some older horses may have respiratory difficulties such as heaves (recurrent airway obstruction or RAO) or inflammatory airway disease (IAD). If your veterinarian has diagnosed a respiratory condition in your older horse, feeding and environment changes to reduce dust and allergens will be helpful. Remember to strictly follow your veterinarian's instructions with regard to barn access and housing, and consider these other suggestions:

  • Replace hay (which can cause the horse to inhale dust and pollens) with a complete feed such as Purina Equine Senior horse feed or Purina Omolene #400 horse feed.
  • Avoid excessive exercise.
  • Keep the pasture mowed if the horse is allergic to outdoor pollens.
  • Provide adequate ventilation in stalls and barns.
  • Do not use dusty bedding in stalls or run­ in sheds.
  • Consult your veterinarian to determine if ant-i­nflammatory medications or other medical interventions are necessary.

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