Den Hoek

Respiratory problems horse

Respiratory problems horse

In our practice we regularly see horses with acute and chronic respiratory complaints.

When horses have chronic respiratory problems, many therapies have often been tried.

We tackle respiratory problems by examining the entire horse and detecting underlying problems.

We treat the horses through a combination of multiple therapies, such as acupuncture, herbs, osteopathy and, if necessary, regular medication. We will also advise you on all environmental factors that can contribute to a better result.


There are several causes for respiratory problems:

  • In summer, allergic reactions often occur to, for example, pollen.
  • In the winter we see more colds and complaints as a result of less ventilated areas in the stables. There are often underlying causes for the respiratory problems.
  • In autumn, for example, we often see a combination of disturbed intestinal flora and respiratory problems.

For the best possible result, we therefore treat the intestinal flora, because the large intestine is acupuncturistically closely linked to the lungs. Often the airways become irritated by a dusty environment. A virus, bacteria or fungal infection can also cause respiratory problems. One horse is more prone to this than the other horse. In recent years we have also seen more and more horses with pollen allergies. A healthy horse does not cough, has no nasal discharge (sometimes only clear discharge) and has a breathing rate of eight to twelve times per minute at rest.


A horse with respiratory problems can show the following symptoms:

  • cough
  • stuffiness
  • nasal discharge
  • reduced stamina
  • faster sometimes pumping breathing
  • fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes


  • good ventilation in the house is a requirement
  • prevent drafts
  • muck out regularly, preferably daily
  • feed good quality hay silage or (wetted) hay
  • avoid straw and hay storage near the stables

Respiratory problems from 5 elements vision

Viewed from the 5 elements, the lung, together with the large intestine, belongs to the element Metal. That is why respiratory problems often go hand in hand with problems from the colon. When the lung is exhausted, the body’s rhythmic functions are exhausted.

Because the skin is related to the lung, the skin loses its defensive effect against pathogenic energies such as viruses and bacteria. We also see symptoms of dehydration, dry skin and mucous membranes, coughing, hyper- and hypoventilation and a tight feeling in the chest.

The emotion of sadness can weaken lung energy. A relocation or loss of a herd companion can therefore also lead to respiratory problems.

When we are going to treat respiratory problems, it is important to examine the entire horse and to include underlying problems in the treatment plan.

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