Supporting horses exposed to wildfire smoke

Supporting horses exposed to wildfire smoke

Just like people and pets, horses can get sick from wildfire smoke — especially if they have equine asthma.

Irritants in wildfire smoke can cause even the healthiest of horses to cough and wheeze. That’s when it’s important not to stress their respiratory tract further by riding or working them. They’ll also need plenty of water to keep their airways moist. Some folks even feed salt to increase their horses’ water intake.

Of course, methods for reducing environmental dust will help too, like soaking hay and using dust-free bedding. Using barn fans to move stagnant air is another good idea.

If your horse has a pre-existing respiratory condition, contact your veterinarian for other suggestions during periods of smoke exposure. And for all horses, any symptoms of respiratory distress warrant immediate veterinary attention.

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