Ponies shouldn't cough
It's not OK for a pony to cough
It is commonly believed that it’s okay for a pony to cough a few times when warming up. It’s not. It indicates respiratory disease, which is much more common than you think.
Respiratory problems often go undetected. In mildly asthmatic ponies, a respiratory problem may only become apparent when the pony is asked to perform athletically.
In a recent study 88% of horses referred for a regular health check, were found to have Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD)* and one of the signs was coughing.
* Dauvillier J, Woort F. T, Van Erck‐Westergren E. disease (2018) Fungi in respiratory samples of horses with inflammatory airway, Journal of veterinary internal medicine, 2018;1-8
My pony doesn't cough
Ponies do not cough regularly like people and it is very unlikely that you will always be with your pony when he coughs.
Furthermore, coughing is not the only sign of IAD, any of the following symptoms may also indicate respiratory disease: nasal discharge, increased respiratory rate, increased respiratory effort, flaring of the nostrils, respiratory noise at rest or during exercise, poor recovery after exercise, and lower or poor performance.
How can Haygain help?
The same IAD study found that steaming hay using a Haygain hay steamer reduced the incidence of IAD by 65%.