My horse has green discharge coming from their nose. What should I do?

Last Updated on April 15, 2022 by Allison Price

Clear nasal discharge is common and should not be considered a problem. However, thick, yellow- or green-coloured nasal discharges are signs of a viral infection. This can cause serious health problems for your horse.

The common sign of health problems is nasal discharge. It can be caused by many conditions, including those affecting the lungs, sinuses or guttural pouches. The main four categories of discharge from the horse’s nose are:

  • Serous (watery).
  • Purulent (coloured/infectious)
  • Hemorrhagic (Bloody/blood-tinged)
  • Feed containing

A green (or purulent) discharge could indicate the presence a viral infection. These infections are highly contagious and can be transmitted to other horses.

Equine influenza, rhinotracheitis and herpes virus are the most common viral respiratory illnesses. A veterinarian can diagnose the cause of the problem and recommend the best treatment for your horse.

Green Discharge

The first step in diagnosing your horse is to take his history and then perform a thorough physical exam. To detect unusual conditions, such as foreign bodies, tumours, or choke, endoscopy (x-ray) and digital radiography may be used.

A choke episode may be indicated if the green fluid contains food. This condition can be very dangerous as it could lead to pneumonia in your horse.

Your horse will be given antibiotics and rest to treat a viral infection. Your horse’s tack and feed buckets should be cleaned and disinfected. You should also limit the contact between horses.

If your horse is ill, a nasal discharge could be the first sign you notice. If you wait too long, any disease can get worse. Consult your veterinarian to avoid more serious issues and dramatically reduce the spread of infection.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!