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Supplements for the Horse Respiratory System

What supplement can I use as a bronchodilator for endurance race horses in a dusty environment? Ahmed

Dear Ahmed,

Unfortunately, there are no over-the-counter respiratory supplements with bronchodilator activity. The prescription medications Ventipulmin or Aeropulmin (clenbuterol) are the only FDA-approved solutions to relieve bronchospasm in the horse.

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That’s not to say there aren’t some very good supplements available to support healthy lung function in horses. One of the best ingredients for respiratory tissue is MSM, with proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Vitamin C and N-acetyl cysteine also target the tissues that line the respiratory tract and provide excellent antioxidant support. Other potent antioxidants include Grape Seed Extract, Super Oxide Dismutase and Bioflavonoids, which are active substances in plants that protect cells from oxidative stress. SmartBreathe is an outstanding respiratory supplement that contains these ingredients as well as others, and is available in a highly-palatable pellet form.

There are also some herbs that provide either soothing relief to airways or expectorant-like activity. Look for supplements containing plants such as licorice, garlic, elecampane and marshmallow. Note: some competitive riding associations forbid specific ingredients. If you are showing, please check with your association for rules and regulations.

Lydia F. Gray, DVM, MA SmartPak Staff Veterinarian and Medical Director Dr. Lydia Gray has earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and a Master of Arts focusing on interpersonal and organizational communication. After “retiring” from private practice, she put her experience and education to work as the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s first-ever Director of Owner Education. Dr. Gray continues to provide health and nutrition information to horse owners through her position at SmartPak, through publication in more than a dozen general and trade publications, and through presentations around the country. She is the very proud owner of a Trakehner named Newman that she actively competes with in dressage and combined driving. In addition to memberships in the USDF and USEF, Dr. Gray is also a member of the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association (IDCTA). She is a USDF “L” Program Graduate and is currently working on her Bronze Medal. Find Dr. Gray on Google+

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One comment on “Supplements for the Horse Respiratory System
  1. Susanne Mitchell says:

    Thrilled that it now comes in pellets!

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