Horse Problems DatabaseBack – Horse Smoke Inhalation:  What to do

Here in Southern California we have a lot of wildfires. Today, July 23rd 2016, there is a wildfire in Santa Clarita. It is gone from 15 acres to 11000 acres in under 24 hours.

Obviously people and animals are going to avoid the fire.  More tricky is avoiding smoke inhalation. I live sixty miles from Santa Clarita, and yet with the wind I smell smoke and have a small coating of ash in my yard.


What can you do to help smoke inhalation in your horses?

The easiest thing:   give your horse milk thistle.

You can get milk thistle from any grocery store with a natural supplement section.  Or you can order it online. Whatever brand of milk thistle you get:   give horses three times the human dose on the bottle.  Give it twice a day for 2 weeks.  Dogs get ½ the human dose.   You can open the capsules and dump the milk thistle in the feed.  Also, many people have told me their horse will eat the capsules with no problem (so you don’t have to open them first).


Symptoms of smoke inhalation in horses:



Red, irritated eyes

Lethargy (depressed, tired)

High heart rate

Nasal discharge

Fast, shallow breathing




The primary problem of wildfires is not the smoke inhalation, per say. But rather the massive inflammation in the lungs. The lungs are overwhelmed trying to clear out the microparticles of ash.

The inflammation is drastically cut down with the milk thistle.  Milk thistle helps clear out lung inflammation and irritation.  Milk thistle is also an antioxidant and is very good at removing environmental toxins such as smoke and ash ( as well as heavy metals and other toxins).


Don’t wait until the smoke is cleared out

If you or your horse is in a smoky area, don’t wait until all the smoke is gone.  Start the milk thistle right away.  If your eyes feel dry or itchy from smoke, that is a sign your lungs are breathing in smoke.  Start you and your pets on milk thistle as soon as you can.   Stay on the milk thistle for two weeks total.  

That’s all for now.  I’ve got to go get some milk thistle.  


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