Winter Coughs and What to Look Out For
Winter often brings with it its fair share of coughs and colds, even without an international pandemic! But it’s not just the NHS under pressure. Studies have shown that the cold air and dark nights also have an impact on the health of our four-legged friends. With an increased risk of horses developing respiratory issues throughout the winter months, there are a few things you can do to help ward-off coughs and act quickly if more significant problems occur.
Environment is a huge factor. Whilst it might be tempting to warm up the stable and create a cosy sanctuary, ventilation is key! Increasing turnout time and ensuring good air circulation in your stable can counteract the effects of altered air hygiene, caused by the winter months. Low-level feeding and soaking or steaming your feed are also great ways of preventing dust and spore inhalation.
But a dust-aggravated cough is different from a virus. In fact, there are four different causes of equine respiratory issues: fungus spores, allergens and contaminants, bacteria, and viruses. Often, the increased time indoors gives infections the opportunity to spread around the yard. If you suspect your horse might be affected by something more than dust inhalation, you should cease ridden exercise, increase turnout, and contact your vet immediately. Your vet will be able to conduct a number of tests to help diagnose the issue.
You can read more about the causes of equine coughs, and what to do if your horse has symptoms on this Horse and Rider article here.
Our online shop has a number of new items for Christmas 2021 including, of course our new wall calendar for 2022 which features unique images of our animals throughout the 12 months. Visit our online shop.