Hives are a common allergic response in horses, just as they are in people. While a mild case of hives or other allergic response, such as itchy or irritated skin, may appear mysteriously and disappear just as quietly on its own, it’s worth your while to puzzle out what caused it. Allergic reactions can make a horse miserable, and they often become more serious with repeated exposure to the substance, or allergen, that triggers them.
Environmental allergens include pollen, mold, and dust that your horse inhales. When a horse develops hives or other skin symptoms because of one of these substances, he’s said to have atopic dermatitis. These allergens vary from location to location depending on what’s growing, climate and other factors. Some common allergens include molds and pollen from cocklebur and ragweed.
Contact allergens can include almost anything that comes in contact with your horse’s skin, including bedding, pasture plants, shampoo, coat conditioners, fly sprays, lotion or similar products. These products don’t cause problems for most horses, but an occasional horse will react to one ingredient or another.
Food allergies are extremely rare in horses, says Dr. White. Your horse is more apt to be allergic to dust in his alfalfa hay than to the hay itself.
Drug reactions can produce symptoms ranging from hives to anaphylaxis. You may have heard of reactions to such drugs as acepromazine, penicillin, and phenylbutazone, but it’s not clear that these drugs are especially dangerous–they’re just widely used. Reactions to vaccines are fairly common, too.
It’s not always so simple. In some horses, allergic reactions are a chronic, frustrating and potentially debilitating part of life. They occur when, for reasons that are not fully understood, a horse’s immune system becomes hypersensitized to substances, called allergens, that ordinarily do no harm. When that happens, the immune reaction runs out of control. An overabundance of antibodies are produced, which, in turn, stimulate the release of a flood of prostaglandins, histamines, and other substances. Once a horse has had an allergic reaction to a substance, each subsequent exposure tends to increase the severity of his body’s response.
Best treatment strategies: Daily use of Witanor Pure enzymes & Synbiotics together with Pure probiotic for 7-14 days helps build horse immunity can prevent any type of allergens. In addition, it can help soothe the skin and reduce itchiness and can help get rid of the allergens.