I've had people over the years suggest that I put Moon on Lasix. Especially the last year when it was at it's worst and EIPH was suspected. If bleeding was the only problem, I very well may have tried Lasix on him, although I can't say that I am a fan of Lasix. The barrel racers that I know that do use it don't even particularly like it. It's more like a necessary evil than a magic 'cure'. However, bleeding was only a final symptom of a deeper health issue for Moon. Moon has long suffered from COPD, from which there is no 'cure', only management.
I do know that at one point I pretty much had Moon's COPD under control. He was running hard and fast and I did not suspect that EIPH was in any way a problem. The problem is, at the time, I had Moon on about 7-8 different individual supplements and although I picked each supplement for a specific reason, I wasn't sure which ones or the combination of certain ones was what was helping. It's very easy to get carried away and end up having one supplement cancel out another and really, why spend money on unnecessary products?
So finding that excerpt that broke down what effects different additives have on the system was just what I needed to help analyze what products were the most likely to help. The article placed supplements aid/benefit the respiratory system into 4 categories, as well as gave a few examples of supplements that fell into those categories;
Bioflavonoids/Antioxidants - These help combat allergies and inflammatory reactions and improve capillary strength and integrity. There are supplements that merely purport to be high in bioflavonoids and/or antioxidants, without claims to be immune boosters, but most herbal immune boosters contain ingredients that have high levels of both. Usually what you will see listed on the ingredients are such things as certain berries and/or grape seed extract, which are bioflavonoids, and vitamin c and/or vitamin e, which are antioxidants. Another ingredient making claims to promote a strong immune system is blue-green alge. You'll often find a host of western herbs or a combination of western and chinese herbs in herbal immune boosters. Most of them are selected because they are high in bioflavonoids and/or antioxidants.
- Hesperidia Bioplex
Western Herbs - For respiratory tract irritation, especially when cough is present. Often chosen for antioxidant properties or for astringent (drying) or emollient (soothing) characteristics. Includes; mullein, lungwort, yarrow, marshmellow, borage, coltsfoot, fenegreek, ginger, capsicum, horehound, myrrh and yerba santa.
- Lungwort Compound (manufacturer - Equilite)
- Breathe (manufacturer - Herbs For Horses)
- Respiration (Wendals Herbs)
Chinese Herbs - For bronchiodilating, mucus loosening effects or for allergies. Includes herbs like; Bei Sha Shen, Dan Shen, Gui Zhi, Huang Qi, etc., etc.
- Breathe Ease
- Jet Breath
Aromatic Oils - These are often mild bronchiodalators and have mucus thinning effects. In spite of the 'oils' name associated with them, they often come in powder or paste forms and are usually administered within a few hours of exercise or competition. Most common are; camphor, eucalyptus, orange and mint.
- Wind Aid
- Air Power
With that little bit of information, a person can at least understand the claims made about different products. Now it makes perfect sense why most companies that make quality products designed for horses with serious respiratory issues, particularly those who also have bleeding issues, sell 'layers' of products. Most of them have a daily product, a 2nd product that may also be daily or fed for several days before competition and usually a 3rd product that is given right before competition.
Which brings me to the final supplements that are to be found. These are specifically for horses that bleed;
Vitamin K is the best known natural blood clotting agent used for bleeders. You will usually find it combined with Vitamin C, as well as Hesperitin (another flavoniod).
There is one chinese herb that is also used specifically as a clotting agent and that is Yunnan Paiyo. This can be found combined with other ingredients or in pure form.
Well, so much for finding a single 'magic bullet' product for Moon. I was hoping to get away from stacking supplements, but in his case, putting this information together with past experience, it's the only way to keep his system working effectively. The only thing I didn't have to deal with before was the bleeding part. Once a horse bleeds, they are far more likely to bleed again as soon as they are put under stress, but there is a small chance that if I get Moon on the right combination and his system is strong that he won't bleed again.
I suppose the big question is, have I picked a supplement program to try on him yet?...Well, not really. The Oxy-Gen brand has an extensive line of products. Herbs Of The World has a supplement program. And, Horse Science (herbs4horses) has several good products (I have used a number of their products for various things and have had good results with all of them). I think the biggest hurdle was realizing that there is no one product out there that will 'fix' Moon. I really am going to have to used the 'prescribed' layering of products, as recommended. ;-)