Supporting your horses respiratory health

Supporting your horses respiratory health

Are you doing all you can to support your horses respiratory health? IAD affects huge numbers of horses and often goes undetected while also impacting their performance.


The latest research revealed that feeding Haygain steamed hay reduced the chance of horses developing IAD by 65%. It also found that horses fed dry hay had a 2.6 times increased chance of having fungi in the airways. Plus that the degree of lower airway inflammation was significantly higher when horses were housed indoors and bedded on straw. Recent studies have found that horses with fungal elements in their airways have a 2.1 times greater chance of having Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD.) Compared to horses with no fungi presence.

What does a presence of fungi in the airways mean for the horse?

Fungi present in the airways is directly linked to the development of IAD. Horses with fungal elements on the tracheal wash cytology, are 2.1 times more likely to develop IAD than horses with no fungi in their airways. The presence of fungi in the airways is avoidable, meaning that IAD can be largely evaded with correct care and management.

This groundbreaking study found the degree of lower airway inflammation was significantly higher when horses were fed dry hay versus Haygain steamed hay. The study clearly identifies straw bedding and dry hay feeding as significant risks for IAD and for the presence of fungal elements in equine airways. Whereas Haygain steamed hay led to a reduction in the risk.


Inflammatory Airway Disease – all you need to know

The symptoms of IAD are nonspecific and can be subtle. Which poses a diagnostic challenge. A cough, poor performance and excess mucus within the airways on endoscopy is a key characteristic of IAD. PLease dont ignore it!

This disease differs from cases of Severe Equine Asthma (COPD/heaves), in that affected horses typically do not show increased respiratory efforts at rest.Most, but not all horses with IAD will develop a cough that lingers but have no fever. Affected horses may be training fine but don’t perform well in competition. They take longer to recover normal breathing but otherwise, horses with IAD appear bright and maintain their usual appetite.


This research continually states that bedding on straw and feeding dry hay cannot be recommended for performance horses as they are significant risk factors for IAD. Soaking hay did not decrease the risk of IAD. Whereas the use of high‐temperature hay steaming, in a Haygain. Was protective effect against the development of IAD but was the only effective way to prevent it.