“Heaves” is the commonly used word for the medical condition known as recurrent airway obstruction (RAO). This is a chronic respiratory inflammation frequently caused by an allergic reaction to airborne particles. It bears some resemblance to asthma in humans. RAO is most often seen in horses who are in their stable a lot and exposed to dust and molds from old hay and straw.
The signs of heaves include shortness of breath (especially after exertion), moist coughing (often but not always producing copious phlegm), and wheezing. In severe cases, afflicted horses will struggle to breathe—this is a veterinary emergency! Horses who have heaves for a long time will develop “heave lines”—a prominent bulge of muscle along the ribs.
The best treatment and prevention for heaves is to keep your horse outside as much as possible. Additionally, eliminate sources of mold and dust by throwing out and replacing old hay and bedding, soaking hay in water before feeding, cleaning out his stall frequently, and anything else you can do to reduce your horse’s exposure to airborne particles. Once a horse has heaves, he may need to be medicated for the rest of his life, and his ability to work or perform may be limited.
Add 50/50 to the feed and the hay and making 50/50 available for free choice if horse is isolated would be helpful. The available minerals will help the lungs slowing mucus buildup in the lungs. Adding the BMW product to the drinking water at a rate of 1-2 oz.’s. per gallon of non-chlorinated drinking water should reduce buildup of fluid in the lungs helping with the coughing and help the lungs to function better.
This system should help with some relief and after a period of time it will be evident if your horse is getting help when the typical signs begin to diminish.