Supplementing to Support Equine Lung Health

A user in a wildfire-affected area asks if supplements can help support her horse’s respiratory system.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Supplementing to Support Equine Lung Health
According to guidelines published by the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, airway damage resulting from smoke can take four to six weeks to heal and ideally horses should not return to work for this amount of time after smoke has cleared. | Photo: iStock

Q. I live in California where our air quality has been poor due to wildfire smoke. I’ve been wearing an N95 mask (a respiratory device that eliminates 95% of very small particles) when outside doing barn chores, but my horse is living outside and breathing the air with no filtration system. I haven’t ridden for more than two weeks. Now that we’ve had rain, the air quality is much better, and I am planning on putting my horse back in work. I’m worried about his lung health though. Is there a supplement that might help?

A. Protecting lung health is vital to equine performance, so you were wise not to work your horse in poor-quality air. Equine lung performance isn’t greatly altered by conditioning the way that the other systems of the horse can be improved (i.e., the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems). Therefore, any damage to lung tissue can have a lasting effect on lung health and future performance ability.

I would strongly recommend that, before putting your horse back to work, you contact your veterinarian for guidance. At the end of 2017 the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine published some guidelines for horses exposed to wildfire smoke, which state that airway damage resulting from smoke can take four to six weeks to heal and that ideally horses should not return to work for this amount of time after smoke has cleared. Obviously, this will depend on how severe the air pollution was where your horse lives. Your veterinarian should be able to guide you as to how long is appropriate to give your horse before retuning him to work

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

Written by:

Clair Thunes, PhD, is an equine nutritionist who owns Clarity Equine Nutrition, based in Gilbert, Arizona. She works as a consultant with owners/trainers and veterinarians across the United States and globally to take the guesswork out of feeding horses and provides services to select companies. As a nutritionist she works with all equids, from WEG competitors to Miniature donkeys and everything in between. Born in England, she earned her undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University, in Scotland, and her master’s and doctorate in nutrition at the University of California, Davis. Growing up, she competed in a wide array of disciplines and was an active member of the U.K. Pony Club. Today, she serves as the district commissioner for the Salt River Pony Club.

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

When do you vaccinate your horse?
378 votes · 378 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!