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Author Topic: Breathing Problem  (Read 110 times)

TN Trail Rider

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Breathing Problem
« on: October 12, 2018, 04:24:29 pm »

I have a 16-yr-old Rocky gelding who has suddenly developed a breathing problem.  It's been going on about 3 weeks now.  His breaths per minute are 72 and more at times.  Normal for a horse is about 9 to 20 breaths per minutes. He's been given medicine for possible bronchial inflammation.  Didn't help.  The vet had extensive blood work done him done and nothing showed up.  He had an ultrasound done on the lungs.  Normal.  Came out Wed and did an endoscopy on his windpipe to see if a growth was inhibiting breathing.  Windpipe is clear.  He put water into his lungs and drew it out to send to the lab to check for impurities.  Temperature is normal.  The horse doesn't act sick, eats, drinks just fine, and has about the same amount of energy.  We are baffled as to what could be causing this.  It shows no signs of letting up.  Has anyone ever experienced something like this?
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PAWalker

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Re: Breathing Problem
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2018, 10:35:21 am »

At the risk of getting flamed -----

Find yourself a top notch DVM that is also well studied in Chinese medicine, herbs, acupuncture, etc.  I say top notch because many of them are not worth a pinch of salt, except when you listen to them talk themselves up :o

I know from personal experience of running multiple sets of blood tests, stringent physicals by three vets, that traditional medical experts can't always find the issue.

It took my DVM chiro who is going for her Phd in Chinese medicine, to get Rusty's digestive issues fixed.

I wish I could divulge her name but she is in her early 60's and flat out refuses to do any horses except her own and mine.  She has made her living caring for agility dogs and some senior dogs of close friends these last ten years.  The best I can do is ask her if she knows anyone she could recommend, if you're still in TN.

FWIW,  channel Five Nashville, did a report on a traditional vet who has learned the benefits of acupuncture like its something new, lollol. I've seen its benefits on my horses since 1990, when I still lived in PA.

There is much to be said for Chinese medicine and their herbal compounds --- I Could write a short story on the success of several of those compounds for both of my horses, that were prescribed by the lameness vet and by the chiro/DVM.

But belief or non-belief is everyone's choice and possibly a missed chance to help the horse :) :)
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KysaSD

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Re: Breathing Problem
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2018, 10:40:38 am »

I agree with Judy on this.  It may be time to think outside the box.  I have never experienced anything like this, but would be pursuing all possible thoughts if it were my horse.
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, a Curly Foxtrotter and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

TN Trail Rider

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Re: Breathing Problem
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2018, 12:34:20 pm »

Thanks for your input.  Actually, there is a vet in northern GA (near me) who does accupuncture as well as in Nashville.  I'm going to have my own vet try a couple more things he has discussed with me, and then I may talk to Dr. Knarr about acupuncture.  She actually practices here in Chattanooga area, so she would be able to come out and look at him.
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PAWalker

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Re: Breathing Problem
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2018, 04:36:39 pm »

The vet in northern GA may be familiar with Dr. Xie in Ocala, FL.

https://store.tcvmherbal.com/Default.asp?

You can key your zip code in the green bar on the left to see if there might be someone near you who,is certified in Dr. Xie's courses.

^^^This is where the herbal compounds come from that I have used on my horses.

The one we used on Rusty for his digestive issues that remained a mystery after much testing, is called "Phlegm Fat".   The name is a complete contradiction in my mind, but it worked, lol.   Rusy had to go thru 1-1/2  (600gram) tubs before the vet/chiro was satisfied it had worked but it worked miracles on him.

And even though three traditional vets said Rusty's lungs were clear (through a stethoscope), the vet/chiro put her hands to his chest and said "this horse is full of crap, I don't care what anyone else says".

I hope you can get this figured out before your horse might develop Heaves (COPD) :)
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TN Trail Rider

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Re: Breathing Problem
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2018, 05:19:33 pm »

Thanks for all the help.  My vet sent a sample of fluid from the lungs for testing and I'll find out early next week what that says.  I want to give him a chance to try a couple of other things he suggested (possibility of Cushings, but I don't think so as he sheds out just fine and sweats normally).  Then I will call Dr. Knarr and ask her opinion and see if she wants to come check him out.  She did a presentation to our horse club years ago and did acupuncture on a stiff horse and you could see the horse start to relax.  I believe in ancient chinese medicine, so your initial reply did not offend me at all -- I had actually never thought of it.  He didn't seem to breathing as hard tonight as the past month, but it is finally cool outside so the heat/humidity of this summer could have factored something in. 
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PAWalker

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Re: Breathing Problem
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2018, 07:31:37 pm »

something else came to mind reading your last post :)

How long have you had this horse?

On a other forum, there's a lady who lives in B.C., Canada.  She bought an 18'yr old Arab and discovered he had breathing issues once their weather turned cold (opposite of your horse) and oddly more so at night than daytime.  The only way she knew he had breathing problems at night was the barn cam.

She tried everything with this horse to no avail.  She managed to track down most of the horse's history and discovered he had had pneumonia earlier in life and it left scar tissue on his lungs.

If you don't know your Rocky's entire history, scar tissue on the lungs might be something to ask the vet about.  Then you would have a direction to go for treatment  :)
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TN Trail Rider

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Re: Breathing Problem
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2018, 10:26:29 pm »

I've had him for 11 years.  The previous owner is a member of of our Back Country Horsemen group and I know him.  He raised Sam from a yearling.  The only other medical condition he has is thyroid, and is on medication for that.  His thyroid level is tested yearly  and 7 months ago at his checkup the condition was still under control.  Of course, things change.  I've been researching rapid breathing on the internet and none of the things I read about seem to fit what's going on.  He does have a bit of clear drainage from his nose now and licks it and it's turning a big raw looking.  The vet has also seen the runny nose and that's one of the reasons he took the fluid sample from the lungs.  I had thought of COPD, but it doesn't seem to fit.  It's not heaves (yet) and he has 24/7 turnout so I think that is unlikely.  I'm not riding anymore so excessive exercise is also not an issue.  I know that pain can also cause rapid breathing, but again he doesn't seem to be in pain, moves well, runs with the other horse when they come in, eats and drinks well.  There could be an internal issue causing pain, but I have no idea what it could be.  I'm going to ask the vet about ulcers.  I just breathe a sigh of relief each morning when I go to the barn and he runs in to greet me. 
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PAWalker

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Re: Breathing Problem
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2018, 05:06:47 am »

Things like this are a Catch-22.  We are happy and relieved for what "it" isn't, but that good news doesn't solve the problem :o


  I just breathe a sigh of relief each morning when I go to the barn and he runs in to greet me.

I know exactly how you feel :)

I thought I'd lose my insulin resistant horse in 2012.  He has other issues  that are trauma injuries so every morning he is standing up with ears forward when I get to the barn is a great day.

Every so often, I get papers out to see how old the horses really are --- as opposed to what I've been saying, lol.  I discovered Joker, my IR horse is not 22 --- he is 23.  I told my husband that means I got him thru another year "free" -- no vet bills, no worries, no gray hairs -- didn't cost me anything for that extra year, lollol

I really hope you get to the root of your horse's issue.  Please post updates and hopefully the resolution.  You aren't alone with puzzling health issues, so it's always great to know the answer in case can help someone else :)

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TN Trail Rider

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Re: Breathing Problem
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2018, 10:28:21 am »

Will do -- IF I find out what is causing this.  I just researched COPD again and am convinced that is not the problem. 
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