Frequent abscessing and new coughing issue...
My apologies is this post belongs more in the hoof and/or horse-keeping section. Buddy had a mild laminitic event about 4 years ago. Since then, I have tightly controlled his diet and mineral supps as per your recommendations. We found a different farrier in July 2015 and I think his feet are looking better than ever. Unfortunately, he continues to have frequent episodes of abscesses - I would say 5-6 per year. They are almost always a long, drawn-out 2 week long affair of leg swelling and alternating between 3 legged lame to barely lame before finally resolving at the heel bulb. I began rasping his toes back weekly a couple of months ago and switched to a 5 week trim schedule. Farrier said this is helping a lot and there is very minimal separation at the quarters where he tends to flare.
Our new issue is the cough. Last summer, he had a couple of days where he coughed a few times when I started riding, then he quickly worked out of it. This winter, he started coughing while just standing in the barn. Vet thought virus at first, but now thinks likely allergies. I have been wetting down his hay and this does help. I can go a week without hearing a cough, but every once and awhile he lowers his head and hacks. He did it yesterday after getting scared and running around his dry lot and putting the grazing muzzle on him causes him to start coughing.
My questions: Any ideas on what more we can do to prevent these abscesses? Why do they continue to happen? Does he have some kind of permanent damage and it will just always be this way? Should we try spirulina and/or j-herb? I am more concerned about the cough right now as I will start riding him (dressage) again when the weather improves (he has winters off - no indoor arena) and I am afraid this problem will only get worse. He is on low dust bedding and has an open barn with access to a small dry lot. Yes, the hay is in the barn as I have no where else to put it. Will the j-herb cause his abscess issue to get even worse? Dosing on the spirulina and j-herb for 1100lb Paint? Is this coughing only going to get worse? I can't put him out in the pasture as recommended for allergies because of his laminitis history...???
Kelly & Buddy (10 yr old reg Paint gelding, dressage when the weather cooperates)