My first experience with Zev

Hi everyone. I’m Kiirsten and I’m pretty excited to start blogging for Dominion Vet Labs (which you will probably see referred to as DVL from here on in). I’d consider myself a horsewoman, not just a horse rider. I have a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding named Moe. He’s the third horse I’ve owned in the past 15 years, and I am obsessed with all aspects of his care and training. I’ve taken clinics and workshops in equine massage therapy, hoof trimming and lameness. Over the years, I’ve also picked up a few things about saddle fitting, natural horsemanship and COPD management. I just can’t seem to learn enough about these amazing animals.

DVL is a local company. Just like me, they’re committed to learning everything they can about horses’ well being and sharing that knowledge with others. DVL is based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba – not all that far from where I live. You’ve probably seen and used their products yourself, even if the DVL name isn’t immediately familiar to you. DVL has been around a long time and lots of Canadian tack and feed stores carry their products.

DS4890I think the first DVL product I used was Zev. It’s a cough syrup that treats mild bronchial irritation and  congestion in horses. Two winters ago, the horse I owned then developed a nasty dry cough. My riding coach had a big 4L bottle of Zev in the feed room. She loaded an oral dose syringe with Zev and squirted the cough syrup into my horse’s mouth – just like you’d administer paste wormer.

Zev is literally the Buckley’s of horse cough syrups. The Buckley’s tag line “it tastes awful and it works” holds true for the equine version. My horse had instant relief from his cough and a very human reaction to the taste:

I think the oral dose syringe is the easier way to administer Zev when treating a cough, but if your horse takes great offense to the process, there’s a few other ways to get it down his throat. You could mix it into a delicious bran mash with molasses and his favourite treats. You can also add it to a bucket of boiling hot water and hang the bucket under his nose – letting the horse breathe in the vapours.

Have you ever used Zev? How did you convince your horse to take his medicine? And what was his reaction? 

I look forward to sharing more of my horse experiences with you. Use the form on the bottom to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss any posts from me or other bloggers.

13 thoughts on “My first experience with Zev

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  3. my thbd. Dominicanno used to love zev, I never had a problem giving it to him. I just added it to his feed ration and he would lick the bucket clean..!!!

    • You’re a lucky gal – that sounds a lot easier than shooting it into their mouths with a dosage syringe or trying to disguise it with treats and molasses.

  4. Would not be without Zev in the barn, have used it for years as well as the original Buckleys in the house!

  5. We have a mare who will “eat anything” and a very picky gelding. That is why we feed mushed up mixed with warm water beet pulp shreds sweetened with molasses and then left to soak for a while. It makes a lovely mash even when you add Zev or other little ‘goodies’ that your veterinarian happens to advise. Zev is a wonderful product. Especially for the horse who is hyper-sentive to every little puff of dust about. And of course, without treatment this will lead to a cronic copd. I’d rather let Zev stop a cough in its tracks than let it progress to something worse!

    • I knew Zev was a good decongestant, but I didn’t know it could be used in the prevention of heaves. Cool! I had a mare who developed COPD in her old age – we had to give her prednisalone every day to manage it, and that steroid is really expensive. Thanks for sharing! I will remember your tip the next time I encounter a horse with heaves.

      • I have a senior pony mare with COPD and I found it to be more of a “bandaid” than a fix. It certainly did not prevent her from getting any worse either. It was one of the first things I tried. Great for a short term fix in aggressive COPD but definitely not a fix 😦

      • You’re right, Deanna. Just like prednisalone, anti inflamatories, anti histamines and herbal remedies, ZEV treats the symptoms of bronchial irritation – not the cause. Diseases like COPD can only be managed, not cured.

  6. Hello my gelding ( 18 year old qh tb cross has copd.) i do not own him anymore. Zev did not work on him, and i did not like giving steroids I remembered someone using iodine when i was a kid for this and over the years had forgotten. I was bording him at te place were i bought him an she had suggested trying to mix iodine (about 4-5 drops) just enough to change the color of the water, in a pail. I would then soak his beat pulp to make sure he would eat it. And i did this for three days every morning, so three doses, and his cough was gone. 🙂 i am for medicine of the “modern” world, but i love to study about “old” remedies that save on the wallet and in turn are healthier. Some may disagree on theis. I also had a reg qh mare, who would take zev by cyringe. Without a problem. Depends on the horse i guess.


    • I’ve never heard of feeding a horse iodine. You can pick up all kinds of interesting home remedies from other horse people. I knew one cowboy who used to save old engine oil to use as a hoof hardener. Thanks for sharing!

    • thanks for this Erica! I was just reading over at Curezone about iodine treatment and COPD in people!! Definitely worth a try for our pony mare 🙂

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