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Heaves in Horses
  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  Recurrent Obstructive Airway Disease (ROAD)
  Summer Pasture Associated Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (SPAOPD)

  by Robert N. Oglesby DVM


Introduction » Causes » Clinical Signs » Diagnosis » Prevention » Treatment » Preventing Recurrence » Prognosis » More Info 

It may start as a transient cough when the horse begins exercising but over time with repeated episodes Heaves can become a severely debilitating respiratory condition where the horse fights for every breath it takes. Whether you call it Recurrent Airway Obrtruction (RAO) or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or just simply "Heaves" it is a disease caused by a reaction to inhaled allergens. The most common allergen is to very common mold spores found in the horse's hay and environment though in the southern US a summer pasture associated obstructive pulmonary disease (SPAOPD) is seen.

Once an allergy to an inhaled allergen develops there are changes in the lower respiratory tract that cause the symptoms seen. Initially you will see coughing that if not effectively managed proceeds to difficult breathing. Once a horse begins to breathe hard, the condition is referred to as heaves or COPD. This article discusses diagnoses, treatment, prognosis, and prevention of this potentially debilitating disease.
      ~Word Count: 2727 words (The average magazine page contains about 600 words);
      ~Last Updated: July 10, 2015;
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Discussions on Heaves & Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  Titles Subtopics Posts Updated
iconHelp with copd21 Apr 24, 15
iconSoliciting "emotional" advice on horse with COPDNov 11, 14
iconCough and nose clearing not responsive to dexamethasone12 Jul 21, 14
iconIncreased Total Bilirubin low hematocritApr 14, 12
iconCOPD in my 15 yo horse Nov 13, 10
iconCOPD on new horseJun 29, 10
iconHeaves vs. Infection - Urgent Help NeededJun 10, 10
iconResearch Study: Genetics and COPD (RAO) Nov 20, 09
iconUsing dex for horse with cough due to allergisOct 5, 09
iconResearch Study: Genetic Predisposition to COPD (RAO)Aug 26, 09
icon Allergies Would this work for horses?15 Apr 25, 09
iconNew horse with heaves/allergies10 Apr 16, 09
iconHeaves, Multiple Allergies and Making It Easier for the Barn Manager 18 Jul 11, 09
iconHeaves and Geographic locationNov 20, 08
iconOrganic Iodide - am I imagining things?? Does it really work, how c...Nov 9, 08
iconAerohippus for Heaves?Oct 30, 08
iconHeaves and founder10 Sep 28, 08
iconGrasse again...16 Sep 23, 08
icon2 yr old Quarter Horse diagnosed with COPD--Questions--long post!Jul 6, 08
iconPregnant mare Heavy breathing - coughingJun 24, 08
iconPossible chronic respiratory problemMay 6, 08
iconResults of my horse's BAL May 5, 08
iconLabored breathing...due to humidity? Stangles shot?15 Nov 28, 07
iconWarmblood mare with strange coughOct 18, 07
iconResearch Summary: Reducing Respiratory Dust ConcentrationsOct 17, 07
iconInflammatory Airway Disease - IAD10 Aug 15, 08
iconYeast & R.A.O.Jun 12, 07
iconLeft Eye and Nostril Discharge, Cough, No FeverMar 29, 07
iconCOPD and LaminitisAug 17, 06
iconPrednisone vs. PrednisoloneJun 5, 06
iconHorse with heavy breathing May 8, 06
iconAmmonia induced COPDMay 2, 06
iconHeaves horse hates being outsideApr 19, 06
iconCubes forever for COPD??Jun 29, 07
iconDifference between IAD and COPD??Jan 17, 06
iconLearn from my lesson......32 Nov 7, 06
iconRescued COPD horse has sweat episodes13 Jan 7, 06
iconSnotty nose and Heaves....related???Dec 1, 05
iconWhat does a "heave line" really mean?Nov 18, 05
iconSPAOPDSep 5, 05
iconHeaves?Aug 27, 05
iconCould this be the start of heaves??Jun 19, 05
iconHeaves greatly improvedJun 4, 05
iconLinseed oil for COPD (yet another question from me)Jun 2, 05
iconVitamin C and COPDJun 4, 05
iconCOPD Gelding making weird exhale noises Jun 2, 05
iconHeave line can mean what?May 10, 08
iconPregnant Mare with HeavesMar 19, 05
iconPossible COPD on very old horse16 Mar 21, 05
iconFeeding hay "fines"Feb 8, 05
iconCOPD?, Clenbuteral?Nov 5, 04
iconCOPD for the futureOct 11, 04
iconHeaves, Feed, & Venitpulmin26 May 21, 06
iconSwollen sinuses, heavy breathingJul 6, 04
iconMalnourished, ERU and now Heaves???14 Aug 30, 04
iconTachypnea NYDMay 19, 04
iconTo Vaccinate or Not?May 14, 04
iconCOPD better with air conditioning?Sep 12, 03
iconAsthma or what??May 31, 03
iconExersise induced heavesDec 9, 02
iconHeaves..... or something elseNov 13, 02
iconEffectiveness of Dust and Mold Free Hay on COPDNov 28, 03
iconAdvanced Stage of COPD11 Nov 18, 02
iconUse of Torpex inhaler for managing symptoms in draft horse with COPD11 Oct 11, 02
iconWhat is "normal" coughing?12 Sep 29, 02
iconBahia allergy?Aug 27, 02
iconAllergies/coughs/nasal discharge vs. COPDJul 3, 02
iconHeave line? Or what else could it be?Jun 2, 02
iconIrritability as side effect to desensitization therapyApr 14, 02
iconCOPDApr 9, 06
iconMare born with partial paralysis of her esophagus Jan 21, 02
iconCopd and omega three fatty acids16 Dec 10, 01
iconCOPD and cold winter-air.Nov 20, 02
iconCOPD and breeding.Nov 7, 01
iconDust not Hay/Mold?Aug 30, 01
iconBuying a horse with COPD??16 Jul 13, 01
iconHeavy BreatherMay 28, 01
iconTri-Hist. Am I just masking symptoms?Feb 2, 10
iconCOPD or Allergies? Arizona seemed to cure it!Apr 9, 01
iconCOPD and Wet HayMar 15, 01
iconAsthmaOct 19, 07
iconAcute respiratory distressFeb 22, 01
iconAllergy or possibly very slight lungdamage?Dec 27, 00
iconHorse will not eat hay substitutesDec 22, 00
iconUse of long-term Azium for heavesNov 14, 00
iconLong drawn out cough?Nov 14, 00
iconChronic Mild Cough21 Nov 5, 04
iconAeromaskSep 20, 00
iconHow long to try heaves remedies?Sep 20, 00
iconNon hay related COPDSep 16, 00
iconHay alternatives for copdAug 15, 00
iconNew remedies for COPDAug 2, 00
iconMore info on SAOPD needed...Jun 23, 00
iconHeaves?Jun 8, 00
iconCopd & rhino-flu vaccinationsMay 29, 00
iconAt a loss...heaves/copd or something that is being missed?May 17, 00
iconAllergies?Mar 29, 00
iconHeavesMar 3, 00
iconCOPD and herbal therapyJan 22, 00
iconHorse Heaves17 Jan 20, 00
iconHorse with heaves not heaving in winter18 Jan 23, 06
iconHow do you know if your horse has heaves or something else?Jan 8, 00
iconCounteracting SteriodsOct 27, 99
iconCOPDSep 8, 99
iconHeavy Breather!11 Jan 17, 02
iconCoughing/Heaves and Maxillary Sinus Mass related?Sep 7, 00
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