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Winter respiratory health: Why a clean indoor environment is important for horses *H&H Plus*

Reducing respirable particles in a horse’s indoor environment is a must, as Richard Hepburn FRCVS explains in the first of this two-part series

Most horses spend more time indoors in winter, both at rest in the stable and during exercise in an indoor school.

Compared to being at pasture, this represents a major change in a horse’s lifestyle – in terms of the bedding underfoot, the surface he works on, the forage he eats and the air he breathes when confined to a smaller space. These factors can affect the airway health of all horses, but most significantly those with airway inflammation.

Equine asthma (EA) is the term used to describe horses with chronic, reversible airway inflammation. This can range from mild exercise limitation (mild EA, previously called inflammatory airway disease), to horses who cough, have nasal discharge and a raised breathing rate at rest (severe EA, previously called recurrent airway obstruction).