I may be wrong, but I do not think Alopecia Areata is actually a disease in equines, but rather a symptom of a disease.
Originally Posted by MMacallister
No matter, I think the treatment for all auto-immune skin diseases is steroids in hopes of putting the horse in remission and/or finding he lowest dose possible to keep the disease from returning.
I was the one of the people that mentioned Pemphigus Foliaceus because it is one of the more common equine auto-immune diseases that affects skin. There is a Yahoo group you can join (for free) and look at photos of other horses that have it and are now in remission. Some of the members there are quite educated in the disease and may be able to answer any questions you might have.
This disease presents differently in horses. Some only lose hair, some have sores, some have scabs, some itch, some swell, some have fever, ect. etc. Often the disease occurs at one particular time of year, regresses, and then appears again the following year or when the horse has been stressed or something sets it off.
But yes, steroid-induced laminitis is the big concern with treatment.
I would want some blood work done to confirm the cause of the diagnosis before I would put my horse on a therapeutic regimen of prednisone. I would not hesitate to take my horse to a reputable vet hospital for a second opinion.
The alopecia may resolve on it's own, Laminitis will not.
Best of luck to you.
Blood work cannot diagnose Auto-Immune. Only a Punch Biopsy can.
Originally Posted by Addison
I have an Auto-Immune skin disorder which could only be diagnosed by skin punch biopsy. I would think the same would hold true for our equine friends.
Originally Posted by ToN Farm
Best of luck.
A CBC, liver and kidney function tests might be helpful in ruling out other causes.
do you know the name of the immune system supplement? that sounds like something i might be interested in
No advice but jingles for both of you!
Wow just looked through the pics that is wild. Jingles for your horse!
I agree with the advice of second opinion and full blood work and biopsies.
The supplement he mentioned was Performance and Show, smart pak also has some immune boosting supplements.
The vet feels like we should get some hair on her and get her over this episode before we start doing a lot of tests. He has seen this before and although it is rare, he is pretty confident in the diagnosis and is worried about her having bare skin especially in the upcoming buggy season.
I am also pretty confident, after reading up on this, that is probably a good diagnosis. I was already pretty sure it wasn't bacterial or fungal because I am a bad horse owner and my horses share brushes, my other mare shows no signs of hair loss or anything similar.
I did bleach the brushes just in case.
I have already ordered a rain sheet for her and she has a fly sheet but I have a feeling we might be going through some sun screen pretty soon. The other thing we are planning is to keep here in a smaller paddock once the spring grass starts to come in, which she will hate but she will get over it.
So far she is still doing all of the things horse owners fret over, eating, drinking and pooping lol. She is bright eyed and demanding of her treats as always. :)
Thanks so much for the ideas, pms and jingles . I will continue to update and post pictures as we go through this.