Inhaled Therapy inhalers available:
STEROID ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES: beclomethasone and fluticasone – both these drugs reduce inflammation and mucus production
BRONCHODILATORS: salbutamol and ipratropium bromide – these drugs relieve the bronchoconstriction and widen the airway. These are used before other drugs to aid their delivery.
INFLAMMATORY CELL STABILISING AGENTS: sodium cromoglycate – these help prevent RAO.
All inhalers are used with a spacer device to help optimise the drug delivery to the affected horse, such as an ‘aeromask’, ‘equinehaler’ or ‘aerohippus’.
Below are some tips on how to use and care for your horse’s inhaler:
Warm the inhaler to body temperature before use and then shake it for 30 seconds.
Remove the cap from the inhaler and discard the first spray. Then attach the inhaler to the spacer device ensuring the inhaler itself is vertical.
Give one spray just before or immediately after the horse begins to breathe in
If your horse will tolerate it, obstruct both nostrils for 5-10 seconds after breathing in and then allow to breathe normally. This will maximize drug delivery to the correct area.
Wait at least 30 seconds, shake the inhaler and then spray again.
Wash the spacer weekly in warm water and washing up liquid before leaving to drip dry.
Nebulisation therapy is an alternative method of delivering inhaled drugs. This device administers a small droplet of the drug locally, with reduced side effects and a rapid onset of action.