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Horses/flaring nostrils frequently even at rest


Hi ma'am. I have a question for you above nostril flaring in horses. Hope this is within your expertise.

Question : I work in a thoroughbred racing stable. My boss the Trainer is getting worried about the 2 year olds which flare their nostrils frequently even at rest and I suspect that they are suffering from heaves. In INDIA, we use a term called DRY COAT for horses that flare their nostrils every second even at rest. Does this
affect their performance? I mean does it lead to ROARING? Last year's youngster now a 3 year old roars badly but won a big race.

Hi Roberts.
  I am not familiar with the term DRY COAT. I wouldn't diagnose heaves based solely on nasal flaring, especially since you state one of the horses won a big race despite the same nasal flaring. Based on the fact that you said the horse roars, I am 99% sure he or she has an entrapped epiglottis and needs surgery.
  But back to the nasal flaring. Is the horse coughing? Ia there any nasal discharge? Respiratory rate? Abdominal breathing? Lung sounds normal? Humidity? Air quality? Is the horse losing weight?
  Any respiratory ailment will effect performance to some degree. If the boss is concerned, depending on the answers to the above questions, I'd say the owner needs to pay to have a vet look at the horse.
  Good luck!
Anne Stepien  


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Anne Stepien


I am knowledgeable regarding Standardbred race horses (trotters and pacers). I can answer general questions, questions regarding conformation, rigging, lameness and some shoeing questions.


I raced standardbreds (primarily trotters) for 9 years on the Grand Circuit and in overnight events for approximately 15 years.

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