Invisible particles cause visible equine respiratory ills

By Susan Aiello • Published: May 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

Horse barns can be dusty, but it doesn’t take visible clouds to bring on a coughing jag. The most dangerous particles are invisible. These fine particles generated from feed, bedding and vehicle exhaust can work their way deep into airways, causing irritation.

New research has found patterns to these unseen irritants, providing clues on how to avoid them. Fine particles are most abundant during dry weather, especially when barns are closed. Morning rituals like feeding and cleaning increase the particle load, especially when there are multiple horses.

To spare sensitive airways, regularly wet down dusty surfaces in the barn. Turning off vehicles or moving them away can also reduce fine particles from exhaust.

So keep your equine friend breathing easy by considering fine particles. Out of sight does not mean out of airways.