Environmental Management of IAD
IAD is an inflammatory condition of the airways that is triggered by exposure to a high level of particulates in the air, such as dust, mold, pollen and spores. Studies have shown that feeding – especially hay and pelleted feed – is the most important contributor to inhaled dust. Other important sources are cleaning stalls and sweeping the aisles. Exposure can be reduced by using “processed forages” such as Denge, or soaking the hay for 15-20 minutes before feeding to minimize dust levels. Another way to reduce barn dust exposure is to sprinkle the aisles with water before sweeping.
As a general rule, 24-hour turnout with access to a run-in shed is highly beneficial for many patients. If housed indoors, affected horses should be stabled in a well ventilated stall without hay being stored in their vicinity. It is especially important to avoid storing hay overhead. We recommend that horses with IAD stay outside until one hour after feeding time and while the barn is being cleaned, as these are time when the dust levels are highest. During the summer, pollen and mold spores can sometimes be higher outside than inside, which may require horses to stay inside when the air quality was poor.