The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Pets & Working Animals => Horses, ponies, donkeys & mules => Topic started by: sabrina on June 19, 2019, 11:01:28 am

Title: Maybe Shavings ?
Post by: sabrina on June 19, 2019, 11:01:28 am
In April I lost my wee cob Dolly to a massive asthma attack. She had been out in the paddock during the day and was fine. I took her and Harley ( Shetland ) in at tea time due to watching their grass intake. Dolly could jump the electric fence so was taking no chance with her has she went down with laminitis in October when she got into the bottom paddock by sitting on the gate. That morning I gutted her stable and gave her an almost complete new bed of shavings. I had been using Bedmax but kept finding big bits of wood so for about 3wks she was now on a new brand. Still dust free. Over the winter I had heard her give the odd cough but nothing that gave me any concern. I started soaking her hay thinking maybe that was the reason although it was good stuff. I went out at 7.30pm to give them their nightime haynets to find Dolly in a terrible state, she could not breathe. I can't start to discribe what this was like. Vet did his best but we lost her. He wondered if it was tree pollen but she has been here for 5 years with no problems. this was the first winter she had been on shavings as I could not get straw. I have gone over this every day trying to work out did I miss something  and I keep coming back to the shavings. Reason being I had a friend who got one of my Shetlands on loan one winter to keep her gelding company. She put him on shavings and he became so itchy that his hair was falling out. She thought he had lice and tried a few things before telling me. He came home early and looked lke a moth eaten rug. I got the vet to him and nothing was found but within weeks his coat was growing and looking much better. when I was next buying horse feed Iasked if she had heard anyone have a problem with a pony and shaving and she said she had heard the odd person had. Much the same as my Shetland. Harley is still on shavings with no problems. Has anyone come across this.
Title: Re: Maybe Shavings ?
Post by: bj_cardiff on June 19, 2019, 11:27:49 am
I'm so sorry you lost her, that sounds truly horrible to of gone through...

I've never heard of shavings causing asthma type symptoms, the opposite in fact, most horses with breathing problems do much better on them. It sounds like more of an allergic reaction to me, or possibly choke? I can't see how the asthma was undetected until it was fatal? I guess without a post mortem you will never know :(

Was the new brand of shavings branded? Its possible that the wood used had been treated with something?
Title: Re: Maybe Shavings ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 19, 2019, 01:01:43 pm
So sorry to hear of your loss  :hug:

She wasn’t greedy enough to have been eating the shavings, was she?
Title: Re: Maybe Shavings ?
Post by: Buttermilk on June 19, 2019, 01:35:57 pm
I have used Bedmax for years on top of rubber mats with no problems.

I do know of people who have had problems with small/fine shavings and also with deep littering them.

Another bedding to consider is chopped rape straw (Equinola).
Title: Re: Maybe Shavings ?
Post by: sabrina on June 19, 2019, 02:39:25 pm
The shavings came from my local feed store and cost almost £9 a bale so not the cheap kind. I never saw her eat them and as we have cameras in the stables would often check them through the night. The vet did not think choke was the problem. She had never shown any breathing problems and I did hack her out. I expect I will never know. Just wondered if anyone had come across anything like this. We are on Bedmax stockman now which are much easier to use and no big bits of wood.
Title: Re: Maybe Shavings ?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 19, 2019, 04:05:21 pm

Another bedding to consider is chopped rape straw (Equinola).

Be aware that rape straw may well have had aminopyraloid weed killer on it, so don’t use the manure on g patch!
Title: Re: Maybe Shavings ?
Post by: harmony on June 19, 2019, 05:51:07 pm
Really sorry for your loss. Asthma in horses seems to be a relative new term. Previously I think it would have classified as COPD. I think you would have noticed if the shavings had been dusty although I think there is an element of dust even in so called dust free.  Asthma is an allergic reaction, commonly to dust but not exclusively so it could have been pollen.  :bouquet:
Title: Re: Maybe Shavings ?
Post by: sabrina on June 20, 2019, 11:35:07 am
I wondered if the shavings had been sprayed with something. Whatever it was it happened quickly. Not something I would want to go through again.