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Pneumonia in horse

Pneumonia in Horse

Horses are susceptible to respiratory disorders and Pneumonia is a very serious condition in horses.

It can be caused by bacteria, virus, fungal or a parasitic infection. The more common form in horses is viral pneumonia. Pneumonia is very rare in horses, but if it does occur, it can be fatal.

Foals, injured horses and old horses are mostly at risk of getting pneumonia. Any kind of upper respiratory infection can lead to pneumonia in horses.

Symptoms of Horse Pneumonia

When trying to determine whether the horse has pneumonia some of the common symptoms observed are:

  • The horse may display signs of discomfort and fatigue.
  • There is a significant loss in appetite and this is normally accompanied by fever.
  • It passes watery stools leading to diarrhea.
  • There will be a lot of nasal discharge along with a cough.
  • The horse finds it impossible to exercise and many refuse to move as they are very weak.
  • Difficulty when breathing is very evident.

    Breathing is slow and labored.
  • Weight loss may also occur in a horse with pneumonia, this may not be noticeable at the start.

A horse that displays any of these symptoms has to be checked by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Pneumonia can be fatal if not treated on time. The treatment consists of antibiotics and fluid therapy, as well as medication for pain. When treating pneumonia in horses follow these simple steps.

  • Understand the signs of pneumonia by checking the different symptoms. Some horses may have one or more of the above symptoms.
  • Contact the VET immediately to figure out what kind of pneumonia the horse has. Acute Pneumonia is fatal if not treated in 3 to 4 days. Whereas chronic pneumonia can be treated and handled over time.
  • Antibiotics and any other medication need to be given for at least 7 to 10 days. Before administering any medication consult the VET.
  • Keep the Horse in a stall away from the other horses. Always ensure that the stall is cleaned daily and is full of fresh and soft bedding. Ensure that the horse has access to clean water all the time.
  • Keep a close watch for any signs of recovery. Good signs include a normal temperature, improved appetite and increased alertness.
  • Allow the horse to rest for another 3 to 4 weeks after it has recovered from Pneumonia; allow it to regain lost weight before beginning slow exercise.
  Submitted on March 18, 2010