Pneumonia is infection or inflammation of lung tissue. Most often seen in foals, older or stressed horses.
These will vary depending on how suddenly the pneumonia begins or how much lung tissue is involved. However, they are similar to those seen in Pleurisy (see last week's blog).
- Raised Temperature
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy and weakness
- Stands rather than lying down
- Not wanting to move
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Nasal discharge
- Breath smells foul
- Inhalation of foreign material
- Incorrectly positioned stomach tubes
Call the vet who will be able to identify any abnormal lung sounds (moist and crackling) that can be heard through a stethoscope.
Call the vet. Rest. Moving horse to a dry, relatively warm area with fresh water. The vet will prescribe antibiotics and may also suggest an equine mask to help administer bronchodilators. Cough suppressants should not be given as the coughing helps clear the airways!
Ensuring horses are well nourished and kept in good condition will allow them to be in a better position to resist infection. Clean, dry and well ventilated stabling are also important. For foals, ensuring the mare is up to date with her vaccinations is key .
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Until next time!