Heaves is the most prevalent lung disease seen in horses. Horse heaves is chronic and can threaten your horse's long term health and performance.
Although your horse's heaves can't be cured, and severe cases are difficult to manage, catching it early will help you manage it as well as possible, and perhaps minimize its damage to your horse's lungs.
When your horse is exposed to allergy-producing substances in the air, such as dust and pollens, cells in his lungs react by releasing chemicals that cause air-passage linings to swell, thicken, and produce mucus. When he breathes, air gets trapped within these thickened passages. Bacteria can become trapped in the airways leading to bacterial infection (such as pneumonia).
What people say...
"...been using the Haygain Steamer for just over a month and it’s made ours and the horses lives so much better...coughs have disappeared and they are all so much healthier eating steamed (hay)" Caroline W.
"...a superb product and since I have been using it for my two horses, their breathing have improved dramatically....suffered terribly from dust and microbes from the hay. Soaking was no good...he was coughing constantly...since the arrival of the HG600, the incidents of coughing have virtually diminished" Zoe Cottle
"We’ve been using the Haygain Steamer for just over a month ...the coughs have disappeared and they are all so much healthier eating steamed hay" Caroline Williamson
Signs include increased respiratory rate, increased abdominal breathing effort, coughing, nasal discharge, adnormal lung sounds, and weight loss (from the extra effort to breathe).
Ways to manage
Ways to manage include:
- turning out as much as possible for cleaner air
- improving ventilation in the stable
- moisten bedding to reduce dust
- steam the hay with a Haygain hay steamer
Haygain hay steamers are the only scientifically proven method to dramatically reduce respirable dust in hay; and kill mould, fungal spores and bacteria that can cause heaves and Inflammatory Airway Disease.
A recent study showed that 84% of horses examined suffered from Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD)*. One of the main causes of IAD is respirable dust and a major source of this is hay. IAD can limit an athletic horse’s performance. The above study found that steaming hay with a Haygain hay steamer reduced the risk of your horse developing IAD by 63%.
*Dr. Julie Dauvillier and Dr. Emmanuelle van Erck-Westergren, 2013, 2014