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Have you noticed that your horse has started coughing? There are lots of reasons why he could be coughing and if you’re ever worried, you should call your vet. However, if you’ve changed his routine, for example, you’ve started feeding hay or you’ve brought him in for the winter, dust, an allergy to dust spores or even ammonia irritating his respiratory system could be an issue.

f you’re feeding hay and you’ve noticed that your horse is coughing after he’s eating it, you may need to consider soaking your hay, steaming your hay or switching to haylage or something like Horsehage that’s dust free. You could just have a dusty bale, so have a look at the quality of the rest of the bales you have in. Also consider feeding from the floor rather than a net.

Bedding can cause horses to cough- to be fair, shaking out slices of straw has regularly caused coughing and sneezing in humans, so why would a horse be any different?! If you suspect that your bedding is causing the problem, look at dust free alternatives and, if your bedding is dust free…what are your neighbours using? If horses are kept in barn type stabling (rather than open loose boxes), a dusty bed can cause issues for other horses in the same space. Dealing with a dusty neighbour can be tricky, but it might be possible to switch stables with someone in a different area, at least to see if it makes a difference. There are lots of dust free beddings available that are cost effective (especially when used with rubber matting)…with the price of straw in recent years, dust extracted or virtually dust free bedding isn’t always an expensive option. It’s also work making sure your horse is out in the field or away from the area when you muck out- especially if he has a dust allergy or respiratory issue.

There are many smells that are associated with horses, and ammonia is one of them…but it doesn’t have to be. Research has suggested a link between ammonia and respiratory issues in horses and, although ammonia seems like something that can’t be stopped, there are things that can be done. Some bedding inhibits the smell of ammonia, like Aquamax, Nedz Advance and others. If you’re happy with your bedding overall, then have a look at fresheners and disinfectants that you can use when you muck out to help keep the stable area smelling fresh!

Don’t forget that a cough could be a symptom of a more serious condition that requires veterinary attention. If your horse’s breathing has changed, there’s nasal discharge, he’s unwell, his glands have swollen or you’re at all concerned, it’s always best to call the vet.

Click here to see our full range of beddings.

Click here to see our full range of haylage.

Posted: 27/11/2013 15:28:57

For horses with poor quality hooves, there are a raft of products available that can help to promote health and condition. In this blog post, we’re going to explore some of the ingredients that you’re likely to find in your bag or tub of feed or supplement…

Biotin is actually a B vitamin itself and plays an important role in many of the body’s processes…but it can’t be made in the body, hence it’s often added to the diet by us. It can be found in food, naturally, but can be added when hoof issues are a concern. There have been some studies conducted on biotin, not a vast amount, but some. Improvements have been seen in hoof quality in some of these studies. What’s key to remember is that results don’t happen overnight, whether you feed a supplement or a feed containing biotin. Hoof growth is a slow process and it can take up to a year for a new hoof to grow, so if you’re going to try biotin or a feed containing biotin on your horse, make sure you stick with it for a suitable amount of time, for maximum benefit.

Zinc, like biotin, is used all over the horse’s body, helping the skin, hair and hooves. It’s a mineral that is an antioxidant too and works to protect the cell membranes from free radicals. In the hoof, it helps in the production of keratin, which is an essential part of the hoof’s make up.

Methionine is an amino acid that is seen as essential in the diet as it’s involved in many body processes, including the production of the horn of the hoof.

Healthy hooves rely on more than just these three ingredients, but if you’re researching the products available, you’re likely to see biotin, zinc and methionine appear again and again. In order to be in top condition, horses need to receive a balanced diet, and the same applied for hooves too.

To see our range of hoof supplements, follow this link


Posted: 18/11/2013 10:51:42