Some Help for the Respiratory System
Respiratory disorders will affect the fitness and performance of your horse. Your horse's lungs take a beating from all sorts of inhaled allergens and pollutants, chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fumes and chemicals, bacterial infections and viral infections. Asthma is rising at an epidemic rate in people and horses. Heaves (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD) is a wide-spread problem: most horses develop it due to an allergic reaction to inhaled dust and molds.
Good management is key. To protect your horse's lungs you need to cut down exposure to dust and allergens, provide maximum ventilation without draughts (or a run-in shed instead of a stall in a stable.) You may need to feed wet hay, or even soaked hay cubes instead of hay if your horse is especially sensitive.
And nutritional therapy CAN help. Look for herbs traditionally known to act as expectorants and bronchial dilators, helping the body rid itself of irritants and mucus build-up, and for mucilagenous herbs that help reduce irritation. Garlic is an expectorant and an antibiotic. Thyme is an expectorant and has antiseptic properties. Mullein contains throat-soothing mucilage, also saponins that have an expectorant effect. Horehound is another expectorant, and so is Aniseed. Coltsfoot is a specific for coughs, Nettles relieve congestion in nasal passages, Licorice helps soothe the throat and is often recommended for asthma, Red Clover helps congestion, coughs and asthma. MSM is an essential mineral for the health of the lungs.