Fungi Directly Linked to Inflammatory Airway Disease in Horses, Finds Study

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A major piece of the puzzle of equine airway diseases has been discovered: the role of fungi.

A three-year study published by The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (JVIM) involving over 700 horses found a direct link between fungal particles in the lungs and Inflammatory Airway Disease (or IAD).

Researchers found that:

  • fungal elements are commonly present in equine airways
  • inhaling fungal particles increases a horse’s risk of IAD by 2.1 fold, and that
  • exercise intolerance is 23% more frequently reported in horses that have fungal elements in their airways

Eliminating exposure to fungi is critical to IAD prevention.

The study revealed interesting data on that too.

Soaking hay, often recommended as a protective measure for horses with respiratory inflammation, did not significantly decrease the risk of IAD nor the risk of having fungal elements in the airways.

Neither did haylage.

Nor hay commercialized as “dust‐free.”

The only way to protect your horse against moulds, found researchers, is to manage his environment.

  • Get rid of moulds in hay by steaming it at high temperature. Haygain hay steamers are scientifically proven to eliminate 99% of mold, fungi, yeast and bacteria and decrease the risk of IAD by two-fold.
  • Use dust free shavings that do not contain moulds (unlike straw).

Learn more about the health benefits of steamed hay at

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