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[RC] coughing horse - time to call the vet? - Cindy Stafford

Hey ridecampers - Need some sage advice...
My 13 yr old horse had had a cough since early november.  It's very intermittent and occasional.  Doesn't happen just when exercising or eating.  She doesn't have a temperature.  She has also had a runny nose since early summer, but usually just on one side of the nose.  That I had attributed to allergies, but it hasn't gone away with winter.  Her eyes water too, it was worse in the summer.
She hasn't changed living conditions.  Hasn't changed feed.  She lives with about 6 other horses, in a pasture 24/7 with a run in.  She eats hay from a round bale when she isn't grazing.
I don't think its heaves, know someone who has a horse with that and she isn't behaving like him.  I've seen strangles.  This isn't it.
So any ideas on what it could be? yes i know this is a question for the vet, but don't want to call the vet out if he's just going to say 'watch and see if it gets worse'...
At what point do I call the vet?  Cough doesn't go away but it doesn't get worse.  Think its enough for a diagnosis or will I just get a vet shrugging his shoulders?
Her attitude and behavior are all normal.
Have any of you come across these symptoms? what did it turn out to be?