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Often it is dismissed as normal and not too bad if the horse has to cough one, two or more times the first time it comes to the riding arena or the riding arena. After all, a lot of horses do that and it won't be dramatic. However, coughing regularly, even at the beginning of a training session, is not normal. Rather, it should be seen as a sign that the horse is sick and that there is an increased risk of an acute or, in the worst case, an already chronic respiratory disease. Acute bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchi, often caused by viruses and bacteria. This form of respiratory disease can be treated, while chronic bronchitis cannot be treated and is usually preceded by an acute illness that has not been treated or has been treated incorrectly.
Equine asthma is an umbrella term for respiratory diseases in horses. It is divided between Reurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO = Severe Equine Asthma) and Inflammantory Airway Disease (IAD = Mild to Moderate Equine Asthma). Many horse owners are familiar with the terms COPD and COB still known. Mild to moderate equine asthma primarily affects younger horses and is the second most common cause of performance intolerance. According to studies, 80% of all horses are affected. The severe form of equine asthma (RAO) occurs more frequently in horses older than 10 years. Cough is a sure sign of equine asthma, even if it occurs rarely.
In addition to bronchial inflammation caused by viruses or bacteria, there are other reasons a horse may cough. One of the most common causes of cough problems in horses is posture. Excessive dust exposure from the litter or roughage can promote and cause respiratory problems in horses. In addition, poor house management can be a cause of coughs. Because too high an ammonia load due to too seldom or insufficient mucking of the horse box can be a trigger for a cough. Ammonia is produced by the decomposition of nitrogenous substances from horse manure and urine and is a colorless, pungent smelling gas. Furthermore, a high quality feed is essential. Hay, straw or haylage must be low in dust and, most importantly, free from mold! Litter or roughage stored in the stable lane is also a sign of suboptimal stall management, because the horses breathe in dust with every mucking, littering or feeding, which stresses the respiratory system and can impair lung function. Tip: If the storage of straw and hay in your stable is in the stable lane, the best thing to do is to ensure that your horse does not stand in the stable lane while mucking and feeding the hay. If it is not possible to optimize the keeping in a stable, a change of stable should be considered for the well-being of the horse. The open stables and active stables are ideal for horses with respiratory problems, as the horses stand in the fresh air a lot, the dust exposure is low and the horses move more.
When speaking of an NaCl solution, it is usually a physical saline solution with 0,9% salt / sodium chloride. The low salt content of the isotonic saline solution (0,9% NaCl) corresponds to the concentration of the body cells. This means that the upper and lower airways are moistened and at the same time protected from drying out. In addition, foreign bodies such as dust particles, viruses or bacteria are transported out of the respiratory tract. A higher salt concentration is called hypertonic and is useful for stubborn, viscous mucus. Water is withdrawn from the cells so that the mucus on the cells dissolves and can be transported away. A solution that contains at least 1,4% dissolved salts is referred to as brine. Due to the higher salt concentration, the removal of secretions is more effective, but it can also have an irritating effect due to the withdrawal of moisture. Therefore, a brine inhalation should be used as a cure and in a mask nebuliser like the SaHoMa®-II the maximum brine concentration should be 3,5%. In brine chambers or brine trailers, the inhalation is distributed throughout the room and brine of 6% to 8% are also common here.
The human lungs only have a volume of 6 to 7 liters and are therefore many times smaller than the lungs of a horse. A horse's lung volume holds around 40 to 55 liters - so it is significantly larger. It quickly becomes clear that an inhaler for horses has to perform better than an inhaler for humans in order for the contents to reach the lower respiratory tract. In addition to the trachea and lungs, the lower airways also include the bronchi and alveoli. With regard to supportive and preventive treatment, the droplet or particle size, performance, fit and material of nebulizers are decisive.
The Droplet size the average particle should ideally be smaller than 5 µm in order to reach the lower respiratory tract. In the SaHoMa®-II, the particle size was determined by means of a cascade impactor by the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM in Hanover and is 3,92 µm MMAD. Ideally, horses with respiratory problems are inhaled daily. Then it is of course an advantage if the horse inhaler works faster. Depending on the addition of medication or the filter, the Performance be weakened. A higher performance and a shorter inhalation time is more pleasant, especially for horses that do not like to stand still, thanks to the Fitting If the mask is closed, nothing of the inhalant can escape from the sides. The SaHoMa®-II sits optimally thanks to the sealing ring and gently surrounds the nostrils. With an open mask, unfortunately, there is a greater likelihood that aerosols and sometimes drugs that are to be nebulized will be lost. After getting used to the inhalation device and, above all, breathing in the mask, it is not a problem for many horses and the inhalation is enjoyed. Especially when dealing with animals it is unbreakable Material essential and extremely important in order to avoid accidents. The SaHoMa®-II mask is made of Makrolon, a transparent, biocompatible, robust and hard-wearing material.
Essential oils should never be used in one Mesh- Nebulizers such as the SaHoMa®-II or an ultrasonic nebulizer such as the Air One or Air One Flex from Hippomed can be used. An extreme effect of the essential oils on plastic, plastic and the nebulizer unit make the materials unusable and eat them up, even though they are absolutely robust materials. During inhalation, the essential oils would penetrate deep into the respiratory tract and act aggressively there, so that mucous membrane irritation and even bronchospasm can result in horses.
Yes! After each use of the inhaler, the mask and, in the case of the SaHoMa®-II, the Mesh- the nebulizer unit must be cleaned. Secretion builds up after each inhalation process and if it is not cleaned properly, there is an increased risk of re-infection. For cleaning the ultrasonic nebuliser or the MeshNebulizer, only cleaning agents recommended by the manufacturer should be used. In addition, owners with several horses with respiratory problems are advised to have their own mask / hose or a separate SaHoMa®-II for each horse Mesh-To use a nebulizer unit. In this way, undesired interactions, cross-contamination or further infections can be prevented.