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Heavy breathing, no other symptoms

 
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Wildhearts
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:39 pm    Post subject: Heavy breathing, no other symptoms Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I hope you're all doing well! I am wondering if anyone has had any experience with a horse who sometimes breathes heavily but has no other symptoms. Her nostrils flare and her sides heave a little when she just comes in from the pasture.

Sometimes she does it when it's warm out and hosing her down seems to slow down her breathing, but she's a light colored horse and none of the other ones, even the dark ones have the same issue.

She is a very enthusiastic horse and always has lots of go in the arena and on the trails, and never acts tired even after long gallops. We have never heard her cough.

She is out on pasture 24/7, fed small square bales twice daily (good hay, not dusty). Up to date on deworming and vaccinations. Eats well, keeps on weight. She loves to come out and go to work!

If anyone has any similar experience or insight to share, I'd love the input. We are baffled!

Thanks so much,
Celena
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Chablis
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is probably a silly question but how fit is she?

Apart from fitness, she may be a *roarer* - google the word, it may come up with some solutions.

Also, any lumps etc on her neck anywhere? Maybe an obstruction?

Is she a very active mare? Maybe her favourite hoon time is when you visit?

Good luck.  
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imagele
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

heavy fast breathing is one of the very early physical signs that my gelding has left his comfort zone and is starting to get worried.
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PasoBaby_CarolU
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking heaves.  Maybe from an allergy?
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Wildhearts
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses!

I'm pretty sure she isn't a roarer, as she doesn't make any noise when she breathes quickly.

She is very fit, and will stand tied for a while waiting for her turn to play and we'll notice her nostrils flaring. She is super relaxed other than that.

Can a horse have heaves without any coughing? I have honestly NEVER heard this mare cough.

Thanks again - and Carol, nice photo!
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ShannonE
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This time of year allergies can be really hard on a horse.  The drier it is it seems the worse they are.  

My old horse suffered in the spring but was fine once all the pollen, etc. was done.  He would huff and puff like your horse but never did cough.  We wet down everything he ate and eventually the heavy breathing passed once we hit summer.  

Shannon
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bit
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thing to think about, this reminds me of Lou.  She did the breathing thing, warm days, no sweating.  I forget what it's called, not being able to self cool by sweating.  I would hose her off, she'd get better.  The hotter it got, the worse she got.  Finally had to send her back to previous owner in Colorado.  Kansas was just too hot and humid for her, and she wouldn't have survived here much longer.  We were all heartbroken to see her go, but it was the best thing for her.  She's happily living her life in a much cooler climate with her new mom.
Whatever is your horses issue, I'd probably have a vet look at her.  Make a note, does she sweat when she gets hot?  I learned that hosing can actually make them hotter unless you wick the water off.  I also got Lou in the shade and checked on her several times a day to make sure she was tolerating the heat.  She wasn't.  Best of luck with this.  We are all guessing, so get a good vet out to look at her so you will know for sure.  I would think the breathing would be a symtom of something that needed a vets diagnosis.
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thelmanelle
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long has the horse lived in the environment?

How long has the horse been having these symptoms and do they occur every year at this time or is this new?

I think of things that are related to heat exhaustion or heat stroke or a possible heart murmur with some pulmonary edema occurring?  

Just from what you are pointing out, this occurs with the heat.  The horse is not tolerating it?  

Have your vet listen to the heart and lungs, just for peace of mind.

It may be the environment and development of sudden allergies, like people.

I just ask questions from a nursing background.
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Wildhearts
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all so much for your insights. She has been out here for a year and we never noticed it until this spring. There is a lot of pollen and dust around, so maybe it is just allergies.

When I say in the heat - I only mean about 15-20 degrees C, it hasn't gotten much hotter than that here yet! But it does seem to be worse on those warmer days.

She definitely sweats lots when she goes to work.

A heart murmur, that is a scary possibility! Time to talk to a vet, I think. It is so hard to think of her as having any sort of problem because everything else about her is so perfectly normal - eats well, good exercise tolerance, in great shape, tons of energy! But we wouldn't want to overlook something serious.

Thanks so much again; I really appreciate it.
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bit
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you ever find out what was going on with your horse?
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Nashama
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have her vet checked.
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thelmanelle
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, please answer us.  We are here for you and your horse.
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Wildhearts
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys,

Thanks so much for your suggestions and concern. Happily, our lovely lady has received a clean bill of health and a diagnosis of allergies. Definitely the best possible outcome!

Thanks again for the support - I really appreciate it.

Cheers,
Celena
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