I live in texas and have a OTTB who has had exercise induced coughing issues due to seasonal summer allergies for the last two summers. I had been able to manage the coughing by giving bute for a few days to calm the respiratory inflammation. However, this summer he is considerably worse. Since mid July he has been off all grass due to severe grass gland swelling (submandibular Lymph nodes), debilitating cough and even ventral edema. I had to stop using bute due to stomach issues. I had him on dexamethasone for three days but he developed an upper respiratory infection and I had to take him off. My vet is hesitant to try dex again because he feels the dose would have to be high to be effective and could lead to laminitis. Infection is treated and gone now but allergy is still there. He is lethargic, has lost weight (a lot). I have tried an herbal anti-histamine but do not see results. Considering a trip to Vet school for allergy test but I haven’t heard of good results for respiratory allergies from these tests. Any treatment ideas to keep a summer respiratory allergy under control would be appreciated!
What does your vet say about clenbuterol? Are you wetting down the hay?
I fought with this with one horse (Central Texas) for several years. He coughed and was unhappy during exercise, and was also very allergic to gnats (hives and itching).
This year, I started putting one dex tablet in his feed. He is much better, and this is the first year he has not had to wear a fly sheet. The one tablet (4 mg per day) is not enough to completely cure him, but makes his coughing rideable.
He is a tall QH, and not the chunky laminitic type. He is out on grass 24/7 with access to his stall. So he does not need or get much grain. I have some concern about the dex, but not enough to make me stop giving it to him. When it’s cool enough to not worry about gnats, I’ll give him a break from it over the winter.
My point is, maybe a very low dose of dex can help your guy.
I would be adding a good dose of MSM (even 20gm/day for a few weeks to front load him, then 10 or even 15gm from there, based on his response), and adding as much Omega 3 as I could, whether from flaxseed, or something like the O3 product that KER has, or anything similar, and just see how all that helps.
We had a horse with those allergies that our vet would give one shot of Depo-Medrol, that lasted him almost three months.
“Depo” means in a long lasting preparation and it was a prednisone product.
He was on that for over 15 years, without any side effects and free of the itching, that would get so bad he had sores on his head and shoulders and get, the vet called it, “elephant skin” from the scratching, even under his belly, why we went there with him.
We had tried everything with him, fly sprays, all kinds of internal and external deworming, moving him to the mountains and still, every spring, his mad itching started.
Only horse that was so bad, the chances of bad side effects of the corticosteroids were worth it, for him.
Ask your vet about Zyrtec. Mine has me give it to my pony who has seasonal allergies and it helps quite a bit with her runny, swollen eyes and itchy skin. Can be had cheap from Costco and other big box stores in generic form.
Another pony owner here that uses zyrtec. Also, there are inhalers that work too, both steroid and bronchodialators (excuse my spelling on that). Maybe you could asked your vet about those. The specific ones I have used are beclomethasone and albuterol.
Tri-Hist and soak the hay?
Thanks everyone for your advice. I hauled him the the vet school and Unfortunately we discovered that he was suffering from th onset of lymphoma. I had to euthanize him.