Equine Halotherapy Salt Therapy

The Power of Salt Therapy for Managing Horses With Heaves

Airways that have become inflamed in the trachea, bronchi, and lungs of a horse are the hallmarks of the condition known as equine heaves. Numerous symptoms might result from this, including persistent coughing, too much mucus, reduced energy, and even weight loss.
The normal onset of symptoms is between the ages of 9 and 12, with both sexes being equally affected. Extreme episodes of symptoms, such as a dry, hacking cough and labored breathing, can linger for days or even weeks. Environmental allergens are frequently the cause, usually from extended contact with hay that has become dusty or grown mold. Horses in humid weather on pastures can also get this condition. Although there is no way to get rid of heaves completely, it can be controlled by changing the horse’s surroundings. The inflammation which occurs in the lungs can be reduced with medicine as well, if necessary.
Horse owners seeking a natural treatment for heaves in horses have begun to try salt therapies using a Halogenerator to try and combat the effects of heaves in their horses with great success.

Horse 3Key Takeaways

  • Understanding Equine Heaves: Equine heaves is characterized by inflamed airways in the trachea, bronchi, and lungs of horses. Symptoms include persistent coughing, mucus, reduced energy, and weight loss, typically appearing between ages 9 and 12.
  • Causes of Heaves in Horses: Environmental allergens, often present in hay, straw, or stall bedding, trigger heaves. Extended exposure to dusty or moldy hay and humid weather can lead to heaves.
  • Treatment Approaches: While heaves cannot be completely cured, symptoms can be controlled through environmental changes and medication. Early detection allows for effective therapy, preventing the progression of lung injury.
  • Effective Treatments for Heaves: Strategies include turning out horses, evaluating hay quality, feeding at a higher height, and switching out dusty bedding materials. Wetting or soaking hay helps decrease dust particles, and alternative bedding materials like sawdust can be used.
  • Salt Therapy as a Treatment: Salt therapy, or halotherapy, has shown success in horse heaves. Halogenerator disperses pharmaceutical-grade salt, reducing inflammation, thinning mucus, and improving lung function and airway clearance.
  • How Salt Therapy Works for Horses: Halotherapy involves inhaling dry salt aerosol created by a Halogenerator. Salt acts as an antibacterial agent, eliminating pollutants and bacteria, reducing inflammation, and clearing airways. Salt particles that land on the skin help in managing skin conditions.
  • Benefits of Salt Therapy for Horses: Mucus removal: Salt therapy reduces mucus viscosity, aiding in clearing airways of germs and allergies. Anti-inflammatory: Micronized salt alleviates tissue inflammation, promoting better oxygen absorption and breathing. Antibacterial: Salt’s antibacterial properties eliminate harmful bacteria in the respiratory system.
  • Recognition of Therapeutic Benefits: The equestrian community is recognizing the therapeutic benefits of salt treatment for horses. Salt Chamber’s equine salt treatment equipment is trusted globally for its effectiveness in managing heaves. Accessibility of Halotherapy for Horses: Salt Chamber provides equine salt treatment equipment trusted by top trainers, stables, and horse therapy professionals worldwide, so halotherapy for horses is made more accessible, offering effective results.

Horse 2What Causes Heaves in Horses?

Up to a quarter of fully grown horses are thought to suffer from heaves. It is a response to environmental allergens that were breathed in and are typically present in hay, straw, or stall bedding. This allergic response makes the airways in the lungs constrict and get blocked when a horse inhales.
The continuing inflammation and immunological reactivity are rather significant by the time a horse has overt respiratory distress. This does not imply that the condition cannot be reversed. It merely serves as a signal that it’s time to start therapy and make significant modifications to the horse’s surroundings so that the animal can resume its regular breathing rhythm. If not, he will feel uncomfortable and use a lot more energy and effort just attempting to breathe.

A horse with heaves has trouble breathing for three main reasons:

  1. Bronchoconstriction: The smooth muscle around the lung’s airways contracts, constricting the pathways. If a muscle is kept contracted for a long time, it starts to change and grow or become hypertrophic. The airways might narrow more easily due to muscle growth, and this cycle is difficult to stop without therapy and intervention. Salt therapy horses and other equine salt therapy methods have shown promising results in managing airway disease and improving lung capacity in performance horses.
  2. Inflammation: The accumulation of neutrophils and other pro-inflammatory chemicals can cause protracted tissue swelling and fluid buildup, which impairs the tiny airways’ ability to function.
  3. Mucus buildup: Compared to normal horses, neutrophil-induced inflammation encourages the overproduction of thicker, stickier mucus.

Horse 5Treatment for Heaves in Horses

Adjusting the horse’s surroundings to reduce exposure to triggers is necessary for managing heaves. This could be dependent on what triggers a horse’s episodes. Heaves connected to hay or barns, for instance, will require a different approach to management than heaves connected to pastures.
The end result is often favorable if detected early, and horse owners can frequently stop the progression of lung injury brought on by heaves. Symptoms are typically remitted a few weeks to a month after treatment modifications are established.
The following strategies have all been shown to be effective treatments for heaves in horses for hay or barn-related heaves:
  • Turn Out: It is recommended to keep your horse out in the field and in the open air to reduce exposure to airborne dust and other pollutants that may cause irritation.
  • Carefully Evaluate Hay Quality: Owners need to watch the quality of their feed because it can be a major source of dust.
  • Feed Your Horse at a Higher Height: While many horses benefit from eating at lower levels, heaves-affected horses shouldn’t do so since it exposes them to additional dust. The feed should be thoroughly wetted or soaked to decrease dust particles. Use hay netting to lift the hay to chest height and to make it simpler to soak the hay.
  • Switch Out Bedding: If your horse needs to be stalled, avoid anything that tends to collect dust, like straw. Use something else, like sawdust, peat moss, flax, or shredded paper.

Horse 1Salt Therapy as a Treatment for Heaves in Horses

Salt treatment, often known as halotherapy, has advantages for creatures other than humans. Horses and other land-breathing animals have respiratory and lung systems that are comparable to people’s.
Additionally, horses are exposed to the same air that humans are, which is filled with pollutants, pollen, allergies, airborne infections, and more. Due to exposure to these irritants, horses commonly have respiratory conditions that are comparable to those that affect people, such as inflammation, excess mucus, and restricted breathing.
Equine salt treatment helps to clean the respiratory system, which leads to better lung function, more oxygen-carrying capacity, and clearer airways. These essential performance boosters can help the horse go faster with more endurance and vitality.
Horses’ skin is also subject to severe skin issues due to exposure to wind, grime, muck, and other elements. Halotherapy horse breathing equipment can also help provide comfort and assistance in this circumstance because a Halogenerator disperses microparticles of salt into the air that lands on a horse’s skin.

How Salt Therapy Works For Horses

The halotherapy process for horses is similar to that for people, with a few added changes to make the process easier for the horse to enjoy. A Halogenerator creates a dry salt aerosol with 99.9% pharmaceutical-grade sodium chloride that is crushed into microparticles and then inhaled by the horse. This all happens within a salt room, mobile trailer, or by using a portable Halogenerator device.
The salt acts as an antibacterial agent as soon as the horse inhales the microparticles and begins to function inside the respiratory system. It eliminates pollutants and bacteria stuck in the respiratory tract and clears up secretions. In the end, horse salt treatment reduces lung inflammation, thins down mucus buildup, enhances lung function, and clears airways.
The dry salt microparticles that are released into the atmosphere but are not breathed into the lungs eventually land on the skin. The microparticles of salt penetrate the horse’s skin’s epidermis and lessen the likelihood of aggravating skin disorders. Salt’s inherent antibacterial capabilities can stop the growth of germs and assist in maintaining the pH balance of the skin.

Benefits of Salt Therapy For Horses

Aside from being a treatment for heaves in horses, halotherapy has a range of benefits for horses similar to the benefits that it provides humans.

Mucus Removal

The viscosity of the mucus is reduced when the salt particles interact with it in the sinus and lung cavities. Drawing out the mucus aids in clearing the airways of germs and allergies while also aiding in their opening.


The inflamed lining of the sinuses and lungs, from the bronchi down to the alveoli, benefit from the micronized salt that the horse breaths during a halotherapy session. With its inherent anti-inflammatory characteristics, salt lessens tissue irritability and edema, clearing the way for better oxygen absorption and breathing.


Numerous respiratory tract disorders cause the airways to constrict, irritate, and fill with mucus, where germs thrive. In addition to aiding in mucus clearing, salt’s inherent antibacterial properties also aid in eradicating potentially hazardous bacteria in the respiratory system.

Final Thoughts

The equestrian community is beginning to recognize the therapeutic benefits of salt treatment for horses, much as many of us have discovered these benefits for ourselves for skin and respiratory conditions. Thankfully horse owners don’t need to look any further for treatment for heaves in horses once they discover the benefits of salt therapy supported by the use of a Halogenerator.
Horses can now get halotherapy easier, thanks to SALT Chamber! Our equine salt treatment equipment is trusted for its effective and reliable results by top trainers, stables, and horse therapy professionals from all over the world. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help keep your horse with heaves healthy!

Horse 6FAQs

Why Salt Therapy for Horses

Humans are not the only ones that benefit from dry salt therapy (halotherapy). Other land-based breathing animals, such as horses, have respiratory and lung systems similar to people. Horses also face extreme skin conditions from being exposed to wind, dirt, mud, and other factors. That’s another area in which our halotherapy horse breathing machines can help to deliver relief and support.
And, like people, horses are exposed to the same air we breathe. It often contains pollutants, pollen, allergens, airborne diseases, and more. Horses frequently experience similar respiratory issues to humans due to exposure to those irritants, including inflammation, extra mucus, and restrictive breathing. Horses have a large lung capacity and often have issues with normal mucociliary clearance. In fact, there are specific guidelines for measuring this excess mucus, especially with thoroughbreds and racehorses.
A clean respiratory system from equine salt therapy will allow for improved lung function, increased oxygen-carrying capacity, and clearer airways. These vital performance enhancers may increase the horse’s stamina, raise its energy level, and help it run faster as well.

How Does Salt Therapy Work for Horses?

Once inside a salt room or mobile trailer, or by using a portable unit, a horse will breathe in the dry salt aerosol created by the halogenerator. As the horse inhales the aerosol, the dry salt goes to work inside the respiratory system by acting as an antibacterial agent. It clears secretions and dissolves bacteria and pollutants lodged in the respiratory tract. Ultimately, equine salt therapy lessens inflammation in the lungs, thins out mucus build-up, improves lung function, and opens breathing passages.
The microparticles of dry salt that are dispersed into the air and not inhaled into the respiratory system eventually fall onto the skin. Because dry salt is ultra-absorbent, the microparticles permeate into the epidermis of your pet’s skin, absorb oils, and reduce the frequency of irritating skin conditions. The natural antibacterial properties of salt can prevent the development of bacteria and help normalize the skin’s pH level.

Where can I find Equine Salt Therapy Facilities?

Salt Chamber Inc. has clients in the following locations:
  • World Equestrian Center – Ocala, Florida
  • Santa Anita Park – Arcadia, California
  • Palm Meadows Thoroughbred Training Center – Boynton Beach, Florida
  • JRs Equine Spa and Retreat, Pleasant Hope, Missouri
  • Hauck Racing Stable – Anderson, Indiana
  • Eclipse Equine Sports Therapy Center – Atascadero, California
  • Rookery Equine Spa & Therapy, Ltd., – Cheshire, United Kingdom
  • EqSALT – Florida, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio
  • Fly Fancy Stables – Nova, Ohio
  • Foxhall Equine – Fallston, Maryland
  • Cavallo Stable – Richton Park, Illinois
  • Delaware Equine Therapeutics – Bear, Delaware
  • United Equine Center, LLC – Dalton, Ohio
  • Seven Mile Livery Limited (Seven Mile House Farm) – Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
  • Amulet Farm Equine Rehab and Conditioning – Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania
  • A. Kelley Racing Stable – Greenfield Center, New York
  • Texas Equine Salt Therapy LLC – Chico, Texas
  • Stewart Stable – Muncie, Indiana
  • Hagyard Equine Medical Institute – Lexington, Kentucky
  • KK Animal Therapy – Mercer, Pennsylvania
  • Equi-Soul – South Mountain, Ontario, Canada
  • Harttland Equine, LLC – South Vienna, Ohio