Ever since moving to our current yard, Scottie gets the occasional cough. I first noticed it in February/March 2017. It wasn’t constant, but if he coughed once he would cough a couple of times soon afterwards. It would clear up with exercise.
I tried all the normal things. I soaked hay, I swapped to dust free bedding, I fed hay off the floor, I got him out more and gave him a respiratory lick. None of these things really made much of a difference. By the time we got into the Summer, the cough seemed to have cleared up. We would occasionally get a splutter or a throat clearing when we started trotting. But it had pretty much cleared up. So I put it down to him haivng some sort of virus and taking a while to get over it.
The following year, the cough returned. It was quite bad early in the year and took a while to clear up. Once again, I did all the normal things, looking for a cause. But nothing really helped. But we went to camp for a few days with the same unsoaked hay and he didn’t cough the entire time he was there.
I am now fairly convinced that there is something at the yard what causes his cough. He doesn’t often cough a lot in his stable, it’s nearly always just at the start of exercise. It seems to come and go throughout the year. Over the winter it seems to be just a couple of small coughs then he is fine. If I ride in the afternoon, he coughs much less, if at all, compared to when I ride in the morning after he has been in the stable overnight.
In the spring, it seems to be at it’s worse. So I think there might be something that flowers at this time of year what affects him. He still only really coughs when you start trotting, but the coughs are usually bigger at this time of year. Our arena can be quite dusty and our yard and stables overlook the arena. So I wonder if that is also a factor.
I was recently sent a free sample of EquiNutritive’s Breathe Rite supplement to review. We started feeding this just before Scottie usually gets a bad flare up and just as he started to return to work after his arthritis diagnosis. We didn’t have much coughing while he was on it. He still cleared his throat as we started trotting, but it was just a bit of a splutter or a throat clearing.
Once we ran out of the supplement, I definitely noticed that his cough got worse. But this coincided with when the weather improved and things started to bloom. While I think the supplement helped, it was quite expensive and I’m not sure how effective it would be when Scottie has worst flare ups. I have found another supplement with great reviews and roughly half the price. He has been on that for about 2 weeks now and I plan on riding tomorrow morning and will get a good idea on if this cheaper alternative helps or not. If it doesn’t I will certainly consider giving EquiNutritive another go.
Last Updated on 08/04/2022