Respiratory Issues That Affect Horses

Horses are similar to humans in many ways, which also means that they tend to be affected by the same sort of health issues that cause problems for us. Horses suffer from a range of conditions that affect their bodies, from their bones to their circulatory systems to even their breathing.

Having a working breathing system is absolutely vital for a horse to be able to run at fast paces while out on the track. Let’s take a look at some common horse respiratory diseases and conditions, how they work, and the ways in which they can cause breathing issues with the horse.

The Three Main Causes Of Breathing Issues

Due to the nature of how horses breathe, it’s actually quite easy for them to suffer from a respiratory issue. There are three main types of problems that they might suffer from, including parasites, infection, and an allergic reaction.

Equine Herpes Virus

The equine herpes virus is among the most common disease that affect a horse’s respiratory problem. Currently, there are many different types that are known about, with EHV-1 and EHV-4 being two of the most common. Problems begin to arise when the animal is still quite young, usually less than two years old, although they can affect horses of any age.

Some of the symptoms include clear drainage from the eyes and throat, coughing, a decreased appetite, and sometimes a fever. The herpes virus is incredibly contagious, and it doesn’t take a lot for one animal to pass it on to another through the air, making it easy for other infections.


Strangles is a type of bacterial infection that’s primarily caused by the bacteria Streptococcus equi. It’s common among horses that are between the ages of one and five, although it can easily infect horses that are older than this. In fact, Strangles can become a serious problem for older animals that have weakened immune systems, even if they’ve had the disease previously.

Once infected, it can take up to six days before the horse is affected, and up to 100 percent of other horses within range will also become infected, so it can be worth it to quarantine the horse for a few days, perfect to catch up on the latest Dubai casinos for real money. White and yellow discharge from the nose is one of the most common symptoms of this kind of infection.


Allergies don’t tend to be quite as dangerous as a viral or bacterial infection, but an allergy can still easily compromise the overall health of the animal. Excessive sneezing and coughing might be signs of an allergy, and then it’s up to the trainer or owner of the animal to try and find the source of the allergy and attend to it. It’s most often caused by some kind of irritant, such as a plant, so it’s a good idea to check out all the wild plants that the animal has access to and see which of them are commonly known to cause allergic reactions.

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