It is an unpleasant experience for anyone who rides or keeps horses to discover that their ‘gallant steed’ is broken-winded. The reason for this broken-windedness or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder , in the unanimous opinion of the veterinary practitioners who treat the condition, is inadequate stable management and/or the resulting increase in the ammonia content in the air and the litter. The aggressive ammonia vapours corrode the mucous membranes of the horse’s respiratory organs.
As in modern times horses generally spend more time standing indoors than roaming freely outdoors – which actually goes against their nature – diseases of civilisation which originate from the aggressive effects of ammonia on the respiratory tract are occurring in horses with ever greater frequency. These include colds, coughs and an increased susceptibility to allergies.
The growing frequency of such pathological conditions is shockingly reflected in the parallel increase in the consumption of equine medicaments.
In parallel to conditions of the respiratory tract which are located in the upper body, the ammonia has an equally negative effect down below, in attacking the horse’s hooves.