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Beverly Gray

Seeing the Whole Horse, Not Just the Obvious Problem

The most urgent situation is always the one at hand, or in sight, right there and then.  We have to attend to emergency situations, whether if that is an acute lameness, injury, wound, health ailment or even colic situation.  They are dire, in most situations, and must be dealt with accordingly, however, once through that crisis situation, we need to step back and really look at the big picture, hopefully isolating or honing in on the cause of why things happened or developed.  This often entails looking past the obvious problems at hand, whether if that be a lameness or even a health situation, looking deeper and hopefully arriving at insight and wisdom.  Can we do this?  As easy at is sounds, it is not generally well accepted to look beyond the obvious problem at hand. Certainly a challenge for many horse owners, people themselves or even veterinarians.

Why Does My Horse Cough?

The equine athlete and non-athlete are often plagued with coughing, which can inhibit quality of life and reduce performance. Coughing can be sporadic, changing in intensity as the environment changes or it can be continuous, becoming worse or more prominent at the time of exertion as seen during competition.  Some coughs even get worse with certain seasons, becoming progressive over time. So, what makes them cough and what can we do about it?

To Breathe Or Not To Breathe; COPD & I.A.D.

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.

Top 5 Equine Conditions that Benefit from Cur-OST

The horse is a complex creature, subject to many of the same constraints that we put on ourselves, which in the end impacts their health and performance. Each horse is unique in their personality and constitution, which plays a major role in the exact contributors to their particular health and lameness concerns.  Diet, environment, stress, conformation and other influences each play a part, but in most health conditions, we do have one common denominator, which is inflammation.  In most, the inflammatory response is over expressed and if efforts are put into the equation to balance that response, then health and soundness can be easier to obtain.

horse cough

Is it allergies or COPD??

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.  

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease In The Horse

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.

Easy Keepers, Metabolic Syndrome and Lameness; What is the Connection?

Easy keepers.  Most horse owners know what this term means almost instantaneously when they hear it.  In general terms, it refers to a horse that has a tendency to carry more weight and gain weight easily, often with just the sight of a green pasture.  Almost any horse can be an easy keeper, but there are certain breeds that are more prone including Quarter Horses, Pony breeds, draft breeds and even some warmbloods.  Many of these easy keepers progress to metabolic syndrome and even insulin resistance over time, each a stage of continued deterioration at a cellular level.  In many situations, these same horses tend to have concurrent lameness issues ranging from joint degeneration to tendon issues and laminitis, but also many also seemed more prone to allergies, respiratory problems and even eye issues.  What is the connection and why do many standard therapies fail to provide relief for this particular group of horses?

Respiratory Disease in the Horse

Anyone that has owned a horse has probably experienced respiratory disease in some shape or fashion.  Much the same as humans, horses are prone to developing upper respiratory infections due to viral and bacterial invasion, but the two most common and troubling conditions affecting horses in today’s industry is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (reactive airway disease) and exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH).  Being a veterinarian working on horses, I have certainly encountered my fair share of COPD patients as well as EIPH athletes and feel a times that these conditions are becoming more prevalent.