The coughing horse can be very frustrating for a vet to treat. Coughs in horses are mostly due to allergic reactions to stable dust and pollen. There are however many cases of viral infection which also result in long term irritation and produce coughs that do not respond easily to veterinary treatment. Use of antibiotics usually has little effect because the viruses and micro-organisms that cause the problem are not very sensitive to these drugs. One of the best ways of tackling coughing horses is to boost the immune system to help the horse get rid of the causal agent. Often imbalances in the immune system must also be addressed if the allergic root cause is to be overcome.
Please refer also to our ‘sister’ website VETERINARY ADVICE www.freevetadvice.co.uk where there is further discussion on horse coughs.