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[RC] Help - breathing problems when training (rather long) - Benedikte Whitman


I have been a lurker for a short while and just came up with a problem.  I
was wondering if anyone else has run into anything that is similar to this.

I have been training my 12 year old Arabian gelding to do his first LDs next
month.  He is pretty fit - we did 26 miles at a 5mph average last week, and
he still ran around for 15 minutes before getting in the trailer.  Have been
doing 1 day of dressage (Wednesday), 1 day 10 - 12 miles (Friday), and 1
long ride 15 - 26 miles (Sunday).

Friday I took him out to do a quick 10 miles in the middle of the day.  I
went 3.5 miles (1.5 of trotting) and stopped because he was breathing so
hard.  He was panting so hard that his whole body was shaking.  I walked him
for about 10 minutes and then stopped and took his resp. rate - 28 breaths
in 15 seconds - 10 minutes later it was still 27.  Started leading him home
- 30 minutes of leading and resp. was still about 23 breaths.  By the time
we got home - 1 hour after starting to walk, he was down to 9 breaths in 15
seconds.  I was checking the HRM periodically while riding and I didn't
notice any spikes or that it came down slowly - however, that was before I
noticed that he was having problems.  Even when he was panting, his HR was
high 70s which is normal walking for him.  Temp was down to 99.6 half an
hour after getting him home.  The outside temp. was 62 in the shade, full
sun, and no wind, with a winter coat on him, so heat could certainly have
been a factor.

Today I took his vitals in the a.m. - everything looked pretty good.  HR was
42, temp 98.8, good gut sounds, normal membranes, 2 second capillary refill,
good hydration, and eating fine.  The only noteworthy thing was that his
respiration was 16 breaths per minute at rest, which is at the high end of
normal.  Don't know what normal is for him since I have not been checking it
before.  Tacked him up and his breaths went up to 20.

It was a lot cooler today so I took him back out to see how he would do
(hoping that it was just the heat yesterday). Within a short trot - maybe 5
minutes, his respiration was back up to 24 breaths in 15 seconds and it took
at least 20 minutes of walking to get them back down.  His heart rate went
up to about 120 but was back down into the 70s in 30 - 45 seconds.  He never
panted as hard today - his whole body wasn't shaking like yesterday.  I took
it real easy though and did mostly walking.

I am going to lay him off for 2 days and then try him again on Tuesday and
see how he is.  If still a problem, I will take him to the vet who said he
will endoscope him.  The only other thing is that last Wednesday when my
trainer rode him, she commented that he did not have a lot of energy.

Since there are no other symptoms, I am kind of stumped.  Just wondered if
anyone else had seen anything like this.

Thanks in advance,

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