In addition to lameness, airway problems are probably the most common problem in the horse.
Every horse coughs sometimes, for example with the start of the work. A frequently heard comment is that he always does it and that it is normal. Coughing, however, is a response to respiratory irritation usually due to dust, allergy or as a result of contamination with viruses / bacteria.
The coughing can be both acute and chronic. In acute respiratory problems, there is usually an infection. The veterinarian consulted will try to control the infection by means of medicines.
Oxygenated air is inhaled through the nostrils. This air enters the lungs through the nasal cavity, throat and windpipe. The trachea branches there in the bronchi. The bronchi keep branching further and further. First they are tubes with cartilage around them and eventually they branch into tubes without cartilage, which are held open by muscles (bronchioles). The bronchioles eventually end up in alveoli. Gas exchange takes place in the alveoli; oxygen enters the body and waste gases leave the body.
The airways have cilia and mucus-producing cells. These normally keep the lungs clean. The mucus absorbs the incoming dust and / or the pathogens and the cilia then work them out.
Inhalation of dust particles and / or infection can irritate the airways. At that time, more mucus is produced. The cilia cells drain the excess mucus. This can lead to nasal discharge and / or cough.
When the airways remain irritated for a long time, a hypersensitivity to normal dust particles can develop, causing a (dust) allergy. The irritation creates even more mucus and the airways can be narrowed.
The tough mucus is often difficult to cough up and remains in the lungs.
In addition, the mucus makes exhalation more difficult and the alveoli can become overcrowded and eventually even burst. These are then irreparably damaged and scar tissue is created, causing the lungs to lose their elasticity. Ultimately, this will lead to more and more lung problems.
It is important to be attentive to every cough and to fight an acute respiratory infection as soon as possible. This, of course, in consultation with the vet and with the support of medicines.
The Transpirator is a kind of steamer for horses. Water vapor with a temperature slightly above body temperature comes out of the transpirator. The steam / water particles are miniscule and can therefore reach the smallest alveoli. The vapor condenses on the wall of the airways, diluting the mucus. This thinned mucus can then be drained more easily through the cilia together with any bacteria present.
Draining the mucus reduces the irritation of the airways and reduces the production of mucus. In this way, a spiral effect is created in the right direction and it is possible to solve respiratory problems with only water. In most cases it is sufficient to use the perspirator in a course of one month.
Of course, if a horse has a (dust) allergy, it does not disappear by using the perspirator. In addition, measures will have to be taken to optimize stable hygiene for the horse in question. But because the transpirator thins the mucus and makes it easier to drain, the airways calm down and there is a longer-term less violent reaction to the particles that cause the allergy. It is often the case that, with a course of a month, horses with a long-standing allergy, clearly have less respiratory problems.