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Re: [RC] [RC] animals and smoke inhalation - Beth Walker

Thanks Susan.

It is nice to have a qualified opinion to back up my feelings. ?Guess I'll be giving him at least two weeks off **after** the haze clears out, maybe more. ?And yep - there are lots of things I can work on at a walk. ? I'm not in a hurry. ?I had already planned on working the Warner Springs ride instead of riding it, ?so it really doesn't matter if he loses some condition -- ?just as long as he doesn't dump me on my head because he is bored with walking around a ring. ?:)

On Oct 29, 2007, at 11:32 AM, Susan E. Garlinghouse, DVM wrote:

I think it depends a lot on how much smoke was in your area, etc.? I know in my area, the sky is blue (well, it was yesterday) and you can’t actually see anything like you could last week, but after an hour or two, my throat and head starts to ache and my eyes are itchy and red.? In theory, I should know not to be running or exercising hard until the air quality is better.? For the horses, we’ve all seen lots of horses that SHOULD be slowing down at rides and/or are exercising at a level that is going to be a problem, but the horse still wants to go.? Doesn’t always mean he should be, right?? It’s our job to be smart(er) on their behalf.
Maybe it is being overcautious to give them some time off, but consider what *could* happen if a horse with irritated respiratory passages did go back to hard work.? A much higher chance of permanent fibrosis and scarring in the pulmonary tissues, thus less gas transfer, thus less exercise efficiency.? Potentially, development of problems like COPD (“heaves”) and the end of a career.? Caisson’s a really nice horse and that would be a shame.
My husband just reminded me that about twelve years ago, I was recovering from a simple cold, was entered to run a 5K that I didn’t want to miss and ran (in reality, puttered) even though I was still a little wheezy.? Dumb idea, I got a lot wheezier and now have some permanent pulmonary fibrosis.? Not life threatening, but it was still dumb.? All for a stupid t-shirt that has long since gone into the rag bag.
I think this is one of those things that everyone has to decide for themselves depending on how bad things got in their area, but it definitely falls into the Better Safe Than Sorry category, as well, for humans as well as horses.? At least two weeks off won’t lose any significant conditioning, and it’s a great excuse to do some schooling at a walk, or ground manners, or trailer training, etc etc etc.? There’s always SOMETHING you can work on for a week or two to condition the brain and let the respiratory system recover.
Susan Garlinghouse, DVM
>What about horses that aren't showing any signs of problems (feels fine, wants to rip around, no coughing)? ?Should I still give him a month off ? ? Do?>I just assume that the airways are irritated, even without any coughing or other symptoms?
>Most of the folks at my ranch think I'm being overly cautious, since I haven't done anything but hand walk Caisson, or get on and just walk for about?>20 minutes. ?I've only turned him out in the round pens, since he doesn't ?tear around in those.

[RC] animals and smoke inhalation, Susan E. Garlinghouse, DVM
Re: [RC] [RC] animals and smoke inhalation, Maryanne Gabbani
Re: [RC] [RC] animals and smoke inhalation, Beth Walker
RE: [RC] [RC] animals and smoke inhalation, Susan E. Garlinghouse, DVM