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Spring has hit at my barn and I have a new client with a very heave-y horse. She says that the horse cannot be on the bagged shavings I use. What is the best bedding for this type of horse with respiratory problems?
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Hi Karen, thanks for this important question. This is particularly important to us because our company was conceived out of the need to find a bedding for a 7 year old COPD horse. Up to the start of our company 13 years ago, we spend years treating her with meds and enduring veterinarian recommendations to put down.
I am happy to say today she is 33 and almost asymptomatic. Unfortunately, it is almost unpredictable which shavings will cause problems but for the most part it is typically anything that has a moisture content higher than 10% and/ or a species with high levels of aromatics. Mold obviously will cause a problem but I'm assuming that isn't an issue with your bagged product or you would see other issues. High dust levels can exacerbate but isn't necessarily the real issue for the heaving - it would normally start with a catalyst of some sort. Having said that, if Guardian brand isn't available to you in your area, you'll need to find a high quality bagged pine shaving that carries a low moisture content and has been high heat treated in some fashion. Our pelleted bedding goes through multiple heat processes that remove the allergens so that is an excellent option if it is available. Of course, as you know, in the spring with a heaving horse - it isn't just the bedding. If I have any times of the year where I use some meds it will be spring and fall when airborne, bug and hay allergies are in peak season. Let me know if we can help. If you want to talk about your location and contact info, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.