Equine asthma is now the collective term used to describe respiratory disorders otherwise known as COPD, IAD, RAO or heaves. The terminology is related to its clinical, histological and functional features as well as its similarities to human asthma.
It is commonly recognised that winter is a risk period for exacerbating signs of equine asthma as the horses generally spend more time stabled during these months. However, during the Spring-Summer months we often see a rise in respiratory cases despite turnout. An increase in environmental temperature and humidity is directly correlated to an increase in pollen and spore content. This negatively affects the lung function of asthmatic horses, worsening their airway obstruction and in turn exacerbating clinical signs.