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Respiratory Services

The veterinarians at our Wichita hospital treat common equine respiratory issues caused by viral infections or irritants and they can repair a variety of traumatic airway injuries.

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Keeping Your Horses Lungs & Airway Healthy & Disease Free

Your horse's respiratory system does the essential work of delivering oxygen to the body and eliminating waste gases. Lung and airway disorders are frequently caused by direct infection with viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites, as well as immune-mediated reactions or inhalation of irritants or toxic substances. Trauma (such as crashing into a fence) can cause a lung or airway to collapse.

There are several common pulmonary disorders seen in horses, including strangles, equine influenza, and herpes viruses. Other infections, such as equine rhinitis viruses and equine adenoviruses, are also prevalent.

In addition to infectious causes, lung and airway disorders in horses can also be triggered by environmental factors, such as dust, pollen, and mold. Allergies to these substances can cause respiratory distress and coughing.

It is important for owners to be aware of signs of respiratory distress in their horses. Early detection and treatment can help prevent more serious complications from developing.

Respiratory Services

Symptoms of Respiratory Issues in Horses

If you notice any of the following in your horse, contact our veterinarians:

  • Discharge from the nose
  • Coughing
  • Rapid breathing while at rest
  • Labored or difficult breathing
  • Shallow breathing
  • Pain with breathing in or out
  • Noise (like grunting) when breathing
  • Head shaking or abnormal carriage

Diagnosing Lung & Airway Disorders

The horse's history and veterinarian's physical examination can help determine the cause and site of respiratory disease.

Other diagnostic techniques include chest or neck x-rays, endoscopes to view nose, throat, and airways, and aspiration or retrieval of fluid to examine the contents of the lung and airway.

Once the cause and site of the disease has been identified, treatment options like medication, changes in management practices, or surgery, can be explored.

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Equine Surgery & Medicine is accepting new patients. Our team of veterinarians has been providing expert equine care since 1975. Get in touch with us today to book an appointment.

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