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gonedunit225

Horses With "heaves" Or Copd

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In heaves the horse's air sacks in the lung expand but cannot contract efficiently enough to expell the air. Once the sacs are dammaged they don't regenerate. So, heaves doesn't get appreciably better but worse as time goes on.

The horse will have heaves from now on but may or may not get lesser or greater symptoms in different seasons of the year. Our only heavvy horse we had when I was a kid was worse in spring and fall but fine in winter.

My friend Jan's 22yo has it. She gives her MSM everyday. MSM is a naturally occuring sulpher and it reduces inflammation. She also has a COPD med (which the name of escapes me) prescribed by her vet which she gives her when her heaves are bad. That drug is expensive so she saves it for days the mare's breathing is very labored.

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I had a mare with COPD we kept it under control but if she got into hay that wasn't really clean she would have problems. She could be fine for a long while and then have a flare up. So I agree it doesn't go away but perhaps a better way to desribe it is under control.

I don't have the mare anymore but I gave her albuterol when she had problems. I think they have come up with a lot better management tools, (horse nebulizers) and probably some drugs as well. The hay must be clean, if your horse is having problems water it or change to a really clean hay or cubes or pellets, it will get worse if the horse is subjected to irritants.

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Our senior stallion, now 16, has had COPD since he was 5 months old, before they called it that, LOL. He got pneumonia while off at the breeder's with his dam and couldn't get over it for months, and by then the damage was done. The damage is forever but the symptoms can be managed. You have to be careful of the management all the time, not just when the horse is showing symptoms, wheezy, coughing, etc.

Our best solution is to keep him outside as much as possible and feed the best, cleanest hay we can find. Soaking hay is second best to really clean hay. Bedding has been a problem for the times when he HAS to be in, but we have found that in general shavings labelled "kiln-dried and dust-free" to be the best for him. He won't pee on plain rubber mats (we though maybe no bedding would be best, but he disagreed) so he gets a thin layer of these shavings on the mats. He rarely has symptoms and runs speed events.

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You can diminish the dust in the hay by shaking out a flake at a time, pick up a large potion on a 5 tined hay fork and dunk it in the trough. Just throw it in, push it under water then take it right out. Let it drain for a few seconds then throw it in your wheelbarrow and feed it. Best to feed it on a large, clean rubber mat with groves in it. That way the water will run off via the grooves in the mat and the hay will not pickup any dirt which would otherwise easily stick to the wet hay and be injested.

Most of the dust will be gone and any left will not go airborne as she eats.

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have a mare that got heaves last winter after some moldy hay. I THINK. she had a vet look at the mare but just a short little visit because the vets a friend and just stoped by after work. he said she lookd like she had a bit of a heave to her breathing but didnt say anything about how bad it was or if she should do anything but spray down the hay. then another freind said that it could be a little bit of pneumonia and he gave her 20 ccs of penicillin. im into natural medicine and looked up what could be used to help humans with copd or emphazima and it said that flax seed oil is used to keep the lungs flexible and can make breathing easier and aslo so eat alot of leafy greens and legumes. i then gave the mare lots of alfalfa and really green grass and it did seem to work ok. she did get over the heaves when it started to warm up. in my part of nebraska the winter would get bad for a short while then have a period of 30+ degree weather. i was also told buy my frend whos a human doctor that exsercize helps strengthen the lung so i would do some laps or trotting then lopes around the corral with her then some more trotting and she would put up with it but u could see her huffing and puffing after. so she did get over them of atleast they were under control from after last winter ended through fall. it didnt seem to effect her ridability. i did continue to give her the oil and i would lope her around the corrals many times and then i started doing some barrels on her. nothing too fast cause she was just learing but a good fast lope not yet a gallup. then ni started doing jumpes on her. just small jumps like i think the tallest was 1ft 7inches tall and 2ft wide but she was just starting those too. she did work out like she had not problem with her lungs but i havent seen her in a while cause im in a different state than she is but i just wanted to know about this. i have her at my grain sellers ranch and he takes really good care of his horses. he has her in his herd along with my otherhorse apache. i dont want to call him because im afraid her might say that what im paying him is too little. thank g-d my only problems are small money problems and nothing more but he says shes doing fine when i call him to tell hikm im sending out a check for him. im hoping that she didnt get the heaves this heaves this year. and hoping he would call me if anything was wrong. alll he said was that she wasnt doing so well on his turnout feild. but she was allways a really picky eater so he gives her oats and stuff to eat plus hay. some of my frend shave told me shes prob just home sick or misses me because me and her had realy bonded so i was just wondering what you all would say

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have a mare that got heaves last winter after some moldy hay. I THINK. she had a vet look at the mare but just a short little visit because the vets a friend and just stoped by after work. he said she lookd like she had a bit of a heave to her breathing but didnt say anything about how bad it was or if she should do anything but spray down the hay. then another freind said that it could be a little bit of pneumonia and he gave her 20 ccs of penicillin. im into natural medicine and looked up what could be used to help humans with copd or emphazima and it said that flax seed oil is used to keep the lungs flexible and can make breathing easier and aslo so eat alot of leafy greens and legumes. i then gave the mare lots of alfalfa and really green grass and it did seem to work ok. she did get over the heaves when it started to warm up. in my part of nebraska the winter would get bad for a short while then have a period of 30+ degree weather. i was also told buy my frend whos a human doctor that exsercize helps strengthen the lung so i would do some laps or trotting then lopes around the corral with her then some more trotting and she would put up with it but u could see her huffing and puffing after. so she did get over them of atleast they were under control from after last winter ended through fall. it didnt seem to effect her ridability. i did continue to give her the oil and i would lope her around the corrals many times and then i started doing some barrels on her. nothing too fast cause she was just learing but a good fast lope not yet a gallup. then ni started doing jumpes on her. just small jumps like i think the tallest was 1ft 7inches tall and 2ft wide but she was just starting those too. she did work out like she had not problem with her lungs but i havent seen her in a while cause im in a different state than she is but i just wanted to know about this. i have her at my grain sellers ranch and he takes really good care of his horses. he has her in his herd along with my otherhorse apache. i dont want to call him because im afraid her might say that what im paying him is too little. thank g-d my only problems are small money problems and nothing more but he says shes doing fine when i call him to tell hikm im sending out a check for him. im hoping that she didnt get the heaves this heaves this year. and hoping he would call me if anything was wrong. alll he said was that she wasnt doing so well on his turnout feild. but she was allways a really picky eater so he gives her oats and stuff to eat plus hay. some of my frend shave told me shes prob just home sick or misses me because me and her had realy bonded so i was just wondering what you all would say

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ok, First off you can't compare a heavy horse to a human. Exercise will worsen the symptoms.

Like I said, her lungs are damaged. She did not get heaves from moldy hay. She got heaves from damage to her lungs. The symptoms show up when the lungs are stressed in any way be it dust or overwork.

You need to consult a vet not a human doctor.

When you exercise a heavey horse you will notice the nostrils will flare and stay flared and the inside of the nostril will become very very bright pink. This is showing you that the animal is in distress. A heavey horse cannot be heavily exercised without worsening the condition. There is NO cure. The damage is done. All you CAN do is try to keep irritants away form her lungs so she can still breath without causing her to have an attack. If she eats dusty feed it irrritates already damaged lungs and causes the distress.

Feeding a horse who has heaves lots of alfalfa is a bad idea. Alfalfa is high energy legume and a horse will get fat on it quickly. A horse who has Copd does not need to be fat. Overweight horses with heaves have a worse time breathing just carrying that extra weight around.

Once a horse is diagnosed, and you need to have an accurate diagnosis by a certified veterinarian, not your friend, your trainer, or anyone else, you can treat her and use her only for LIGHT riding. Walk and a bit of trot. The more you stress her breathing the quicker she will deteriorate.

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have a mare that got heaves last winter after some moldy hay. I THINK. she had a vet look at the mare but just a short little visit because the vets a friend and just stoped by after work. he said she lookd like she had a bit of a heave to her breathing but didnt say anything about how bad it was or if she should do anything but spray down the hay. then another freind said that it could be a little bit of pneumonia and he gave her 20 ccs of penicillin. im into natural medicine and looked up what could be used to help humans with copd or emphazima and it said that flax seed oil is used to keep the lungs flexible and can make breathing easier and aslo so eat alot of leafy greens and legumes. i then gave the mare lots of alfalfa and really green grass and it did seem to work ok. she did get over the heaves when it started to warm up. in my part of nebraska the winter would get bad for a short while then have a period of 30+ degree weather. i was also told buy my frend whos a human doctor that exsercize helps strengthen the lung so i would do some laps or trotting then lopes around the corral with her then some more trotting and she would put up with it but u could see her huffing and puffing after. so she did get over them of atleast they were under control from after last winter ended through fall. it didnt seem to effect her ridability. i did continue to give her the oil and i would lope her around the corrals many times and then i started doing some barrels on her. nothing too fast cause she was just learing but a good fast lope not yet a gallup. then ni started doing jumpes on her. just small jumps like i think the tallest was 1ft 7inches tall and 2ft wide but she was just starting those too. she did work out like she had not problem with her lungs but i havent seen her in a while cause im in a different state than she is but i just wanted to know about this. i have her at my grain sellers ranch and he takes really good care of his horses. he has her in his herd along with my otherhorse apache. i dont want to call him because im afraid her might say that what im paying him is too little. thank g-d my only problems are small money problems and nothing more but he says shes doing fine when i call him to tell hikm im sending out a check for him. im hoping that she didnt get the heaves this heaves this year. and hoping he would call me if anything was wrong. alll he said was that she wasnt doing so well on his turnout feild. but she was allways a really picky eater so he gives her oats and stuff to eat plus hay. some of my frend shave told me shes prob just home sick or misses me because me and her had realy bonded so i was just wondering what you all would say

so your saying i should only use her for light riding even if she has no symptoms?

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she didnt get them this year at least i dont think she did. im going to call the guy shes at later and see if shes showing any signs but he would have told me if anything was wrong or would have told me if he had to give her anything.

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so your saying i should only use her for light riding even if she has no symptoms?

Yep. If you have a bad heart you won't die just sitting in a chair and don't look sick, but if I make you go run a marathon, you will definitely start to look sick and probably drop dead.

If this horse has heaves, it has damaged lungs. It may show symptoms or not but the fact remains that the lungs are damaged.

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My 12yr old TB gelding is mildly 'heavy'. He isnt like a chronic cougher and loses his breath but:

his stamina isnt what you would expect for a TB

if he gets a Flu, it takes him longer to recover and he has a persisting cough

humidity is harder for him.

he coughs a few times at the beginning of every ride.

But horses who are more severe, yes they can get an 'asthma' attack and it is very hard for them to recover. However, this generally happens more in the summer when its hot. Heavy horses in the winter tend to cough more if they are stabled.

Ventipulmen works really well, on the horses/ponies I have known. And yes generally if they 'have it' it won't go away. But its pretty easy to manage most of the time

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she didnt get them this year at least i dont think she did. im going to call the guy shes at later and see if shes showing any signs but he would have told me if anything was wrong or would have told me if he had to give her anything.

im not sure about the whole bad heart wont kill someone if theyre just sitting in a chair. ive hurd of people dieing while watching tv from a heart atack of even in their sleep. but that besides the point.

ok and i have talked to my vet out here in iowa and he said it doesnt sound so much like heaves. he has not seen her YET but he will when i bring her out here. he said that the "heaves" or breathing heavily could have been brought on from stress of the cold winter since the days that it would warm up she would seem to have an easier time breathing. and its not like she doesnt run and work up a sweat when she was turned out during the summer. she would take off with my freinds horses around a 1/4 mile by1/4 turn out feild. she did have a cough but that went away when i gave her one of those molasses mineral tubs with dewormer and ctc. what also eased her breathing was a dose of dewormer that kills lung worm.

but idk i called the guy who shes at now and he says shes doing fine. and i think i trust him with the health of my horse because he has done alot of things for them. and he takes good care of them and hes the kind of guy who knows horses front and back and he knows alot.

he would have told me if she was sick.

idk what too think but im going to look some more stuff oout and see what i can find but i do appreciate your comments and hope that you guys can help.

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My gelding is heavey, He first got it when a barn I boarded at had some horribly moldy roundbales and forced to eat the crap until another was put out.

I have him managed, and can do heavy competition on him without any medications, BUT I cannot do any heavy riding if he is showing any signs of being heavey, excersise will only make things worse. It is usually easily managed by keeping them outdoors as much as possible if not 24/7, feeding high quality GRASS or grass mix hay (alfalfa is really dusty and not a good choice because of the high probability that they will inhale particles) not in round bale form, watering down any hay fed if possible, feeding on the ground and not in elevated hay bunks (really helps cut down breathing in any particles), using dust free bedding, and most definitely not riding in dusty indoor arenas, or in dusty areas period.

Get your vet out there. I dont care if you think your barn owner is God himself, if he is NOT a vet, he cannot diagnose this sometimes hard to see disease. Asking my very very knowledgable barn owner if my horse is ok out there, he would probably say yes, but fact is, until his (and in the case of your horse her) lungs are stressed and irritated, they can look and act like normal healthy horses.

Smokum

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A friend of mine has a 20 year old gelding with COPD. She has done a lot of different things for him over the years, and he is having the best year since his COPD became a real problem.

She turns him out almost 24/7. He only comes in for a few hours a day for dinner, and then it's right back out. Honestly, he has never looked so healthy overall.

She also feeds him MSM, B-L Solution, and garlic. Not powder garlic, but actual cloves of the stuff. He licks it up, and it seems to help him quite a lot.

She recently started feeding him blue-green algae, and she says she's noticed a difference. When she rides him now, he has more energy, doesn't become winded, and when he seems a little short of breath it doesn't take him as long to recoupe.

Other things that will help are:

+Not throwing hay from a loft above the stall. A lot of dust falls down with the hay.

+Shake out the flakes so the dust falls to the bottom.

+If you don't want to soak the hay, you can take a bucket & sponge and "sprinkle" the hay after you shook it.

+Make sure your horse is out any time the arena is being dragged, or the aisles are being raked if it's a dusty material. More outside is the absolute best thing.

Hope you find some things that work out for you.

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im posting this for you guys too read. my horse was seen by a vet and he said she doesnt have copd. i forgot the paper i wrote the info on but ill post that later.

now for the people who gave me such a scare about it and the grim "details " about horses with copd. i found this article

Clarkson

Humans need not fear that they're the only species on the planet to suffer from asthma.

Horses can be similarly afflicted - it's just that their asthma-like conditions just go under some different names.

Heaves, Broken Wind, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease are all names for a respiratory disease that affects horses.

Like asthma in people, it can manifest itself in various ways, but the signs a horse will be showing all result from the basic problem: a narrowing of the lung's small airways which can be caused by inflammation, tightening of surrounding muscles through spasms, or thickening of tissue.

This leads to a discharge and, potentially, a dangerous build-up of fluid in the lungs, which only serves to make breathing even harder.

The outward signs of heaves include trouble breathing, a decline in the ability of the animal to exercise, and possibly a cough. Those who listen with a stethoscope may well hear wheezing.

Horses will often look tucked up, caused by the extra effort they have to make in breathing. A line of abdominal muscles, called the "heave line", may well be visible.

The characteristic tucked-up look of a horse with heaves. Often, a line of abdominal muscle is visible along each side, called heave lines.

It is very likely the horse will have an accelerated breathing rate, and you are likely to notice the animal forcing its breath out.

In fact, the way in which a horse breathes can be an important indicator of heaves being the culprit. The exhalation will start quickly, but the flow of air will quickly fall away in each breath.

A horse with heaves may have a respiration rate of up to 36 or 40 a minute - well above the usual six to 12.

Some horses will have a nasal discharge, and it is unlikely the horse will be running a temperature.

Horses under six years of age are rarely affected.

Scientists don't have a definite answer about the cause, but they do know that heaves has been affecting horses over many hundreds of years. Most evidence points to it being some kind of allergic response to mould and dust. Dusty hay is usually considered the biggest culprit - horse owners established this link more than 400 years ago.

It is a bigger problem in countries where horses spend a lot more time in stables, particularly those that are poorly ventilated and dusty.

Being linked to allergies, there is likely to be a hereditary element to the disease. Ponies seem more affected but it has been suggested this may relate to them being good "doers" who are sometimes feed poorer quality hay to help keep weight off them.

Heaves may also be triggered by a lung infection, but this, as well as other possible factors, is still the subject of research.

The good news is that horses will generally improve once the cause of the heaves is removed. This may involve removing the animal from a dusty stable or substituting a better quality and less dusty hay.

If hay is the likely culprit, owners are wise to thoroughly wet any hay before feeding it to the horse to eliminate the dust problem. An owner may choose to gradually switch their horse to a pelletised feed - ensuring that the horse still gets its daily requirement of roughage in its diet.

The horse should begin to show improvement and be back to normal from one to three weeks later, depending upon the severity of the case.

Check your hay for quality before feeding it to any horse. Dusty, poor quality hay is a common cause of heaves.

The bad news is that studies show a horse can start developing lung problems again as little as 90 minutes after being exposed again to dusty hay - or whatever the trigger factor proved to be.

It may take longer for the outward signs to appear to the horse owner, but an attack from even brief exposure can last for days.

If not dealt with, the lung linings will inflame, mucous will be produced and the smooth lung tissue will spasm. The lung's tiny airways will not be able to carry as much air and the horse's breathing will become laboured.

Left untreated, heaves will not only be distressing for the horse, but can also result in permanent lung damage.

A vet who attends to a horse with suspected heaves will note whether the horse appears tucked up, with the heave lines visible. They will investigate the nature and rate of the horse's breathing, and may well have the horse breathe for a minute or so into a bag, to increase its breathing rate. This will make abnormal lung noises more obvious through the stethoscope. He or she will take the horse's temperature - an elevated temperature pointing to infection as being the more likely cause.

How good is your hay? Quality hay with low levels of dust is far less likely to cause a bout of heaves.

A vet is likely to take a blood test to eliminate a serious lung infection as the cause. A sample of fluid from the upper trachea may also be taken for testing, provided the vet has the specialized piece of equipment needed to take it.

Expect a thorough examination and testing, as a vet will want to eliminate other possible causes of the breathing difficulty, which can include various forms of pneumonia, lung-worm infection, some cancers, and even a hernia of the diaphragm. A blood test will be key in eliminating some of these conditions as possible causes.

In bad cases, a horse will be clearly distressed - its nostrils will be flared and its ribs may even be visible because of the extra effort needed to breathe. The animal will start to lose condition quite quickly.

What does the future hold for a horse that is prone to heaves? Some horses will stay well provided they are managed carefully and kept away from known triggers.

Owners used to stabling their horses for the winter may consider turning them out for the colder months, instead. A horse turned out in good condition with a quality cover will generally do fine in the open, provided it is well fed. Use paddocks with good shelter from prevailing cold winds.

If this isn't an option, the owner must ensure the stable is well ventilated, and may well have to switch to a low-dust bedding in all the loose boxes. Shredded paper or low-dust wood shavings are popular choices.

Just what the doctor ordered for a case of heaves: the fresh air of a paddock, in this case with enough grass to remove the need to feed any hay.

Any hay must be thoroughly wetted down before feeding.

Some horses will need ongoing medication to manage their condition, or at least while they recover from a bout of the disease.

Most of the drugs and strategies used in the treatment of asthma in humans apply to horses, with the use of corticosteroids and bronchodilators.

In some parts of the world, devices to deliver inhalants have been developed for horses - an alternative to delivering the medication by mouth or injection.

The solution to heaves sounds just like the formula for a healthy human. Plenty of fresh air and good quality feed.

The condition is far less common in New Zealand and Australia than in many nations because of the general preference to keep horses in paddocks rather than stables.

so yes with out proper care it can get really bad but they do get better!!!!!!!!!!!!

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so yes with out proper care it can get really bad but they do get better!!!!!!!!!!!!

Actually if you re-read the article you posted it will basically say that it can usually be easily managed and with proper management they will improve, but never really "get better" as they are more likely once they develop heaves or COPD to have more episodes in the future.

As it says in the article, a brief exposure to an allergen (dusty hay, mold, dust from arenas or even just from the ground (think their favorite rolling spots in the pasture) can cause a reaction within 90 min that can last for days... If left untreated can cause permanent damage to the lungs.

Yes it can be easily managed by any of the ways that have already been listed, but there is always a pretty good chance it will happen again, they are horses after all, and dust kind of follows them... or it seems like it to me lol I get dusty from everything horse related... brushing them, arenas, hay, grain, pastures, horse shows, bedding, ITS EVERYWHERE [Crazy] lol

Riding during heavey episodes (or any breathing issues for that matter, whatever it is thats causing it) can be really harmful to the horse causing stress, which can create a whole nother bag of problems. I have heard of a few horses collapsing from being worked during a heavey episode, they are unable to catch their breath because they're forced to work beyond what their body is telling them (ie careless riders, or at least uninformed ones) and lack of oxygen causes collapse.

Collapse while riding= hurt rider

Smokum

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i guess so but my point was that some people were saying it was almost like a death sentence for the horse but its not its like alergies they dont go away nut it doent mean youll never be able to run or anything

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The scarring does not go away, but the symptoms can be controlled. Let management slip and they are back, and each episode produces more scarring. The scarring is the ultimate limiting factor for performance.

What was the diagnosis for your horse?

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Its not a death sentance, but it is something that the owner needs to be very aware of and educated on the symptoms to prevent episodes from happening in the first place.

For example I have done everything I can do for my horse to keep him the most comfortable and the least likely to get heavey (it is very uncomfotable for the horse) BUT no matter what I do... water hay down, keep outside 24/7, no roundbales, feed on the ground not from an elevated feeder, not ride in dusty arenas or throw hay around him etc, there will always have episodes even just in the pasture grazing, depending on how dry the weather is or any pollen/mold/dust triggers in the air.

Yes it is an allergy trigger, and with proper care its easily managed, but you also must know the signs and symptoms for your horse (whats normal and not) and use good judgement on whether you should ride that day or not, since any extra exertion to the lungs on a day a horse has even the slightest signs of being heavey can cause extreem distress and possible collapse.

Smokum

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i forgot the name but its similar to pnuemonia but it doesnt affect the whole lung just the anterior part. its that lipoproteins fill up the aleoli and cause the breathing heavely and the unpreductive cough that went away with the ctc mineral block. but they dont know what causes it and they dont seem to know much about it. suposidly it can either get worse, stay the same or clear up symultanously. and in some cases it doesnt cause anything and they are asyptomatic.

im just glad its not something chronic and that she got completly over it.

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I may be wrong, but I think most lung diseases leave some kind of permanent scarring of sorts, that will affect lung capacity to some extent, which will affect performance. Hopefully someone can correct me if I'm wrong. It's not to say she can't lead a near normal life, just one that you will need to be careful of, so that she doesn't get any worse symptoms, or develop more lung issues.

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i asked the vet cause i heard that depending on severity of the illness that the lung can heal itsself if the horse is healthy. and he said that yes it can heal itself but only up to a certain point like if the horse was really really sick with some lung infection it may not heal that there may be some scarring but if it was a healthy horse and the illness was diagnosd and treated quickly and you didnt give the infecton time to grow and get worst then it should heal itself. so i guess the quiker your find out whats wrong and heal it that the better. in my case it didnt get that bad cause she had acces to ctc mineral and the pinnecillin shots she got better within 3 weeks so im glad i havean answer and that shes better and healthy and with G-ds help will stay that way

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