- May 21, 2016 at 8:51 am #88922Goranson FarmParticipant
The older of my two mares has developed heaves. I’d be interested to hear if anyone has experience working a horse with respiratory issues. I’ve heard there is no cure for heaves and it only progresses with time. She is also overweight which I’m sure doesn’t help. Open to any and all suggestions. Currently have her listed for sale on Maine Craigslist for $1500.
July 27, 2016 at 6:25 pm #89231Goranson FarmParticipant
- This topic was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Goranson Farm.
Still looking for some words of advice on working a horse with respiratory issues. I have yet to sell this mare and plan on trying to work her into the routine in the next couple days.
CarlJuly 28, 2016 at 4:17 pm #89234Carl RussellModerator
Never had one that was that bad. I’ve had one that coughed from time to time when eating hay, or after drinking water, but never had any problems working.
I would thinking it is like everything else, work her to find out how bad it is. Then work her according to her handicap.
July 29, 2016 at 9:55 am #89237RonParticipant
- This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Carl Russell.
You said your mare was over weight did you take her to Horse Progress Days. I went and I put on seven pounds in five days away from home. Now when I clean the barn I feel Like I have the heaves. Weight is a problem drafts, like myself, are build to be easy keepers and that can really work against them if they have respiratory problems.
I have seen horses with heaves go on and work long and productive lives and I have seen some go down hill real fast. There is no easy answer. My feeling on heaves in horses is that it is similar to asthma in humans in that there are triggers and if you can find them and avoid them it is much easier to manage. Usually the trigger involves dust excitement, stress or certain feeds. Green grass works great, wet hay down to keep dust away, mold free hay obviously, floor feed rather then manger feed to keep dust from concentrating. I have seen horses years ago who lived on almost nothing but cleaned oats and a bite of grass and did quite well.
Again find what triggers the heaves and try and avoid and control the attacks if possible. There are medicine that help keep the undamaged parts of the lungs open and working better and you have already looked at those I am sure.
God speed with your problem
Ron McCoyAugust 1, 2016 at 7:26 pm #89250dominiquer60Moderator
We had a roarer that sounded like a locomotive in hard work, he was Sam’s once in a lifetime horse. He would pull a barn off its foundation or bloody his knees trying. He could work as a single unmanned twitch horse, and if steering on a team of 6 got blurry, we knew he slipped his bridle and would be waiting for us to put it back on at the headland. Heart of steel that horse, unfortunately colic got the best of him last year.
One of our mares is also a bit of a roarer. We keep her trim and give her plenty of rest as needed. It doesn’t seem to bother her work ethic one bit.
Don’t look a gifted horse in the mouth, they all have something to offer, if you give them a fair chance.August 3, 2016 at 10:00 am #89258RonParticipant
talked to a number of horse people now that you have brought the subject up and they tell
me they have had good success with feeding silage to horses with heaves and no other health problems. I know it is frowned on by many but it is maybe the lesser of two evils.
RonAugust 3, 2016 at 1:45 pm #89260dominiquer60Moderator
Ron, you can also soak hay before feeding it. Feeding fermented hay can be a way to tackle it also, but I would not recommend feeding corn silage or chopped haylage. Wrapped bales have a higher chance of containing botulism which is lethal, but can also provide an excellent feed. Don’t feed poor quality ensiled or dry hay, it will only make the problem worse or cause additional problems. Best wishes managing this challenge.
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