One of the most common equine health conditions impacting the performance horse involves the respiratory tract. Inhalation of oxygen is vital for energy production and overall cellular health, but in manty equine athletes, they struggle to move air in and out, resulting in decreased performance and quality of life. As horse owners, we rely on pharmaceutical medications such as steroids and bronchodilators, but despite their use, we continue to struggle to gain results and improve life for our equine companions.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Respiratory conditions in the horse are very common, but present in many forms. As horse owners, you may be familiar with terms including allergies, inflammatory airway disease (IAD) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These terms get tossed around quite often and in many cases, despite the final diagnosis, we fail to see the connection between all of them and the possibility that one can progress to another over time.
Spring is upon us and with the increase in pollen and other allergens, those horses with prior respiratory allergies can flare, creating a life of misery for them and their owners. Respiratory conditions impact a large percentage of horses, contributing to health problems ranging from poor performance to complete debilitation. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is one of the most common respiratory conditions affecting the horse, which can be frustrating to manage. Just like other health conditions, the more we know and the earlier we intervene, often the prognosis is improved and management made easier.