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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Coughing - Flem, nasal congestion

Our 10 yr old QH coughs. Not all the time and not continuous. Some days he does cough at all. Some days he has lots of wind. But, a few days he has short wind or appears as if he has trouble breathing. He also cough up flem. The symptoms can be compared to sinusitis in a person. They seem to be seasonal. We have been giving him an herbal mixture called breathe. This seems to have loosened the flem. We do not feel he has heaves, but would like you opinion. Can horses have allergies and if so how to you treat them or diagnose.

Tks, Debbie

Where are you from? Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: Coughing - Flem, nasal congestion

Hi Debbie,

Oh yes -- horses certainly can have allergies. And it can also be a dust problem. First take a look at his environment. If he is confined to a stall for any length of time, this could be a problem -- so outdoor time is very helpful. Make sure his bedding is not dusty and is kept very clean.

And, his hay may be dusty -- soaking it ahead of time will remove much of this problem.

From an allergy perspective -- you'll want to calm down his immune response by giving him the nutrients he needs. I recommend a providing antioxidants to his diet, including Vitamin C and E, along with a B Complex.

Water consumption is also very important -- see if he is drinking at least 6 gallons a day -- and in the warm months, closer to 12 gallons.

Keep me posted!

Dr. Getty