Forgive me, this is as much a vent as it is a question. The TL;DR version is has treatment for your horse’s asthma been successful and/or when did you decide to just retire rather than treat?
My horse was diagnosed with equine asthma this past summer and I’m at a bit of a crossroads, to either treat it and hope for improvement, or retire him (multiple vets have confirmed that if he is retired, intensive treatment is not necessary for his comfort and wellbeing).
A bit of background: my horse is 20yo but otherwise sound, healthy, and prior to this year still had plenty of get up and go. We event locally at the lower levels (BN/N) though have had lots of ups and dow s over the years health-wise.
Treatment would include purchasing a nebulizer ($$$) and giving him treatments 2-3x/day, every day. Medications would run about $100-150/month, on top of cost for nebulizer. Not an unsurmountable expense, but not cheap. I’ve already spent $1300 on a hay steamer for him and am steaming all of his hay every day.
I keep him at home on our small farm, work full time, have a 5yo son, and do 95% of all farm chores myself, with occasional help from my husband. The vet specialist who did a complete workup on my horse thinks that even with treatment, it is extremely unlikely that he would be able to event again. He has high mast cell counts, and I guess horses with high mast cell counts tend not to respond as well to treatment as others.
So, I’m just wondering what experiences others have had with treating their horses with asthma and any benefits they’ve seen. I’m leaning towards just retiring him. I’m just not sure that the cost both in money and time is worth what little benefit we may get. Buying another event horse right now is not on the table, but my husband would be open to me finding something to free lease- I’ve been thinking about maybe finding something quiet/beg-friendly that my son and I could share.
How have others navigated this? How do you decide? I’m waiting for my regular vet to call so I can discuss further with her but I’m pretty bummed about the whole thing. He’s my first and so far only horse- it finally hit me and I broke down this morning realizing I will likely never be able to soar over jumps on his back again.