So, I know a lot of folks on here have had their horses tested for food allergies. I have some suspicions of what my horses are sensitive too, but on one in particular I'd like to know what all she's allergic too. What all does allergy testing involve? Blood tests or something else? What's the average cost (I know it will vary greatly)?
A good friend had an older horse that had been on lots of various meds for years and was slowly going down hill. she kept asking her vet about allergy testing and he kept saying it wasn't allergies. She called another vet, who did the allergy testing and poor Earnhardt was allergic to carrots, oats, and I can't remember which hay, but of course it was what she had been feeding him.
They switched to whatever he wasn't allergic to and within a short time he was off all the other meds and was a new horse - got fat, shiney, and rideable again. She said the cost of the allergy testing was less than what she'd been paying each month for meds, so the cost was well worth it, especially the results.
I had my horse tested via blood work about 6 weeks ago. I want to say I got charged $250.
It was useful, for sure, but it isn't conclusive nor is it 100% accurate. It hit home my long suspicion that he had a beet allergy, but he also tested positive or borderline positive to so many things, I know I won't ever totally eliminated his hives. However, we seem to have his feeding worked out, which has been a big help.
There is a much more in depth testing, but it is far more expensive and my vet did not want to push because our allergy issues are all skin and NOT respiratory. She said if he had breathing issues, she'd be more into more testing, but since it is all hives, we'll take the info we have and eliminate what we can.
I not only own a very allergic draftx, who is on allergy shots, I also work for a vet dermatology office.
Your most reliable source of testing is by skin/intradermal testing. It is more reliable and provides instant answers. Blood testing is not as reliable.
Our clinic charges $400 for either test.
After testing, a vaccine will be made for your horse. Shots are given, initially low doses over a few days and you will increase the dose while spreading the shots out. Eventually you get to the maintenance dose, usually given monthly.