It’s been a few weeks since Garnet came to Hanaeleh, but her breathing was so bad when she came that we had the vet out to see if there was anything else we could do to help keep her comfortable. Her previous owner’s vet had prescribed some medication to administer once a week, but we were hopeful that perhaps there was something else we could do.
The vet came out and assessed Garnet- she confirmed that it sounds like she has COPD, as there’s not much air movement in her lungs, but she was concerned that Garnet may *also* have a secondary condition called Roarers. This condition is common in Thoroughbreds- essentially, part or all of the cartilage in the larynx becomes paralyzed, and horses have difficulty moving air in and out of trachea. You can read more about the condition HERE. There is no way to know if Garnet has this condition without using a scope, and unfortunately the vet did not have her scope with her that day.
In the meantime, the vet gave us some Prednisone, a corticosteroid, to help reduce the inflammation in the lungs, as well as a strong antihistamine to help block any histamine receptors that might trigger an inflammatory response. The vet suggested we continue this regimen for the next month, slowly tapering off the Prednisone. If we don’t see a response to the medication by October, we will then have to reassess with the vet and look at scoping her larynx and determining if she does indeed have Roarers, or if there is another issue that is preventing her from breathing normally.
Although Garnet is 18 years old, she is very healthy otherwise, and we want her to be comfortable and keep her as healthy as possible. We will continue to work with the vet to ensure she is getting the best care possible!