Respiratory Health in the Senior Horse
By Jennifer Roberts
For those of us privileged enough to care for a senior horse, we know that it is an honor to show a horse through their golden years. We provide them the highest quality forage, the best grain and the utmost care. But have you placed any thought into the quality of the air that they are breathing?
While every horse needs quality air to breathe, senior horses are particularly at risk for respiratory diseases. Dr. Mary Rose Paradis DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM reported in her presentation at the 2013 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention that respiratory problems were the third most common aliment for senior horses presented to her referral hospital.
For many senior horses, consistent turnout is key. Allowing them access to fresh air is the best things for respiratory health, however it is unlikely that your horse is going to live completely outside.
When your horse is inside the barn, the removal of dust (well, as much as possible!) from the horse’s stall and feed is imperative. Many beddings are quite dusty, such as straw and sawdust, so it may behoove you to look for alternatives. It is also important that you remove your horse from the stall when you clean it, as cleaning stirs up dust and other harmful chemicals such as ammonia.
Respiratory distress is also exacerbated by prolonged exposure to ammonia, as it irritates the lungs and respiratory track even more. Luckily for you, ammonia is easy to remove; a generous portion of a stall refresher product, such as Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher, will remove a large amount of ammonia from your horse’s stall.
Increased ventilation will also help to improve your horse’s respiratory health. No matter the season, consider providing more than adequate ventilation when you have a senior horse in the barn. It doesn’t take much to irritate the delicate respiratory system of a senior horse.
If your horse’s respiratory distress continue to progress, it is prudent that you contact your veterinarian.
Maintaining respiratory health in the senior horse requires constant monitoring on the part of the owner, but the results are more than worth it… a horse that can breathe easy.
Sweet PDZ has been keeping stalls healthy for over 33 years and continues to be the leading horse stall freshener on the market. This organic (OMRI Listed), non-toxic mineral captures, neutralizes and eliminates harmful levels of ammonia and odors. Sweet PDZ is a far superior alternative to lime products for ammonia removal and moisture absorption. For more information, visit SweetPDZ.com, and visit Manna Pro Products at MannaPro.com for a dealer locator.