ALLERGIC REACTION

Joined
2 February 2018
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1
Hi all. Hope you are all keeping safe and well! I've had my most recent horse for 2 years and, for some reason, he has presented with an allergic reaction (I think!). Basically looks like urticaria (hives). We dropped out feed stuffs one at a time, to no avail! I then thought maybe I'm over rugging him - he's fully clipped, so I dropped him down a rug, still no better. I got the vet out the other day and he was adamant it was heat related and asked me to leave him without a rug totally - shock/horror!! This totally goes against the grain with me so we compromised and the horse is now in a little cooler rug at night and a 100g turn out in the field. To be fair, he is a 'hot' horse and still feels warm enough even in the cooler. We've been doing this for 2 days and, to be honest, no real difference. We feed haylage but it's cut off of our own field, exactly the same as last year, however, I am going to change from haylage to hay for a week or so - just to see.. He is bedded on shavings. So my question is, has anyone had experience of this before and how did you handle it?? If anyone has had experience of this and it was bedding related, what bedding would you recommend for a sensitive horse? Any help hugely appreciated.
 

poiuytrewq

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3 April 2008
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Cotswolds
My old horse used to get it. We never worked out what it was but the vet used to give a shot of steroid and it would literally be gone in no time. It only happened a few times, I’d kind of forgotten it!
 

Pearlsasinger

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20 February 2009
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W. Yorks
We realised that the shavings that we were using had some sort of undeclared coating/scent on them, when we had to bring the sheep in and sister sat on the floor. We hadn't noticed it before. It might be worth changing your bedding.
 

FDLady

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2 October 2016
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90
We're going through this with a youngster at work and its a nightmare. We're two years into this now - the horse only presents the reaction from late summer and through the winter months, come spring it magically disappeared. Initially the vet put the horse on a course of steroids and blamed it on sweetitch (this set alarm bells off straight away as a) it was a scary amount of steroids going into a very good doer B) we've got sweetitch horses and it wasnt anthing like it...). Due to a few other reasons Yard swapped to my own vet who thought it could possibly be an allergy to fallen leaves? We go it under control with piriton but the minute you drop the dossage the "hives" are back. The horse comes in every night of the year so it cant be the bedding as it would react to it in the summer. Changed feed... no difference. Changed turnout fields... no difference... possibly thought hay but again we cut our own and the horses graze the hay fields as soon as its cut and safe with no reaction? Brought horse off the fields all together into an all weather paddock and again it changes nothing. I cant even begin to explain how particular we were in making sure there wasnt a fallen leaf in sight but again useless. Thought we'd try a sweetitch rug this year from july onwards and didnt stop it so we promptly gave up. This is a 4 year old who is unrugged. He's been in the same home since 10months old and all of sudden at the age of 3 this started??? Like i said previously though, piriton keeps him comfortable at the moment but we'll keep searching :/
 

GinaGeo

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23 October 2011
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984
Might be worth a good dose of Prebiotics.

I have a particularly tricky one who like FDLady has ongoing issues, he’s five now and he first presented with it at two. He doesn’t respond to piriton though. In the end we did an allergy test. He’s allergic to pretty much anything in a bucket and despite all of that being avoided he still periodically breaks out for unknown reasons. It took him about a month off all of his food allergens and a good dose of Prebiotics to clear him up.

My vet is at a loss and steroids only work on him for a short time and then it comes back worse than before.

He now lives on Prebiotics and they make the biggest difference.

I thought we’d got it sussed but his latest flare up started two weeks ago and is specifically on his neck. Nothing has changed. I put a neck rug on him and washed him in a baby emollient wash and it cleared up. Until Sunday when he shredded the neck rug, got cold and wet and re-flared again. So he’s now either reacting to the cold or he’s finding something to touch that he’s reacting too - but nothing has changed and he lives on a surfaced track so I’m in complete control of everything he’s eating and touching.

Yours will hopefully be a much simpler case, and steroids may well do the job. But I would say the Prebiotics are worth a go.
 

Errin Paddywack

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20 June 2019
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1,796
My first stallion came up with hives all over his body, suspect I was overfeeding to get some weight on him, I know he was getting barley and we suspected that. We travelled him down to Hickstead to an in-hand class and by the time we got back all the hives had gone never to return.
 

Pearlsasinger

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20 February 2009
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W. Yorks
If it is at all possible that passersby can feed an allergic horse anything at all, please take steps to remove the possibility. I had terrible problems, eventually found out that the horse was reacting to all cereals and refined sugar but unfortunately while we were at livery there were too many footpaths that gave access to the fields. I once asked an elderly man not to give my horses the whole loaf of bread that the had brought with him. "But she likes it" was the response, yes, she did, she was like a junkie for cereals. And the others, who were all further up the pecking order were arguing over his offerings too. I'm sure you can imagine the scenes.

When we moved to our own land and had more control over where she grazed, the problems diminished.
 

Louby

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7 July 2005
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6,473
This happened to a horse I had years ago, she was also fully clipped, it was minus temps and vet said it was heat and to leave unrugged?? I compromised with a cooler too!! After a process of elimination it was the hay! It was probably the last thing I changed but within a couple of days the lumps went. Not believing hay could cause hives I gave it to her again and the lumps came back. My friends horse was totally unaffected by the same hay. Hope you get to the bottom of it soon
 

Schollym

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23 October 2015
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160
I have a mare that reacts badly and breaks out in hives, one occasion we had her tacked up ready to jump, my daughter had walked the course when the lumps started appearing and we had to get the vet out to the show( fortunately we were local) for a steroid shot. we have had reactions to being too warm, washing a rug( her lumps were in a rug pattern) wasp stings and the local anaesthetic the vet gave her to do a biopsy to find out what she was allergic to. We feed her Equifeast fightback which means reactions are not as severe, she can still get itchy, clipping earlier and not over rugging , plus antihistamines when she gets itchy. A friends horse came up from being over rugged although her spots were smaller and our other horse had a huge reaction to Eucalyptus used in one brand of bedding.
 

Archangel

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Joined
14 January 2008
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7,956
My mare was covered in hives after I accidentally got feeds mixed up and she had a mouthful (that's all it took) of a feed containing barley. It took ages for them to go and they ended up all crusty.
 
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