7 Supplements to support a horse's breathing

Summer’s finally here. You’ve turned your horse out in the spring, hoping that the winter barn cough would subside. It hasn’t. First, there were spring blossoms. Now, there’s oppressive heat. Your horse still has labored breathing, coughs while trotting, and rapid breathing.

What can you supplement to help? This newsletter gives seven suggestions for supplements that may help support your horse.

Spirulina: This is one of the mainstays of being able to help your horse’s breathing, due to its anti-inflammatory action. While it helps breathing, it can also be useful for skin allergies due to fly bites. Recommended serving size: 1/8 cup twice a day.

MSM: Another anti-inflammatory to reduce the body’s response to allergens. Recommended serving size: 1 tablespoon twice a day.

Quercetin: This is a powerful bioflavonoid that may useful to help reduce the histamine response in the horse’s lungs. Recommended serving size: 5 grams twice a day.

Mov-Ease: This proprietary bioflavonoid may also help reduce the histamine response in the horse's lungs. Recommended serving size: 3 grams twice a day.

N-Acetyl Cysteine: NAC has the dual role of being an anti-oxidant plus thinning mucus. Because it can thin mucus, the horse can better cough up airborne particles. Recommended serving size: 10 grams per day, which is about 1 tablespoon.

Vitamin C: While horses can make their own vitamin C, this can still be a helpful vitamin as an anti-oxidant. It also supports the immune system – both the innate and adaptive immunity arms. Recommended serving size: 10 grams per day.

Jiaogulan: J herb stimulates the production of nitric oxide, which can provide a beneficial support to the linings of the lungs. Recommended serving size: 2 tablespoons.

Other considerations:

It’s important to address other considerations in the management of your horse’s airway status:

➡ Allow your horse to be outdoors as much as possible. This reduces the barn dust, molds and particles that may build up in the barn.

Wet hay when possible, to reduce the dust levels. This could be soaking, steaming, or just dampening the hay and the area on the ground to reduce the dust.

Water down the arena, if possible, to reduce dust.

Treat underlying diseases appropriately. Supplementation is not a substitute for appropriate veterinary care. Examples of disease states include viral infections, strangles, pleuropneumonia, and filariasis. These conditions could benefit from veterinary care.

We want to take care of our horses the best we can as they age. Supplements are available to help support our horse's breathing.

Disclaimer: Statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.

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