I have a horse ready to debut @ PSG this season. He has terrible allergies. I have used Clenbuterol very judiciously in the past to help him. I am in regulations and file all the forms. This wont work for FEI. any thoughts on FEI legal approach to help?
Last edited by fatorangehorse; Jan. 28, 2012 at 02:43 PM.
It isn't clear what your horse's allergy symptoms are (respiratory? dermatologic?), but your horse sounds like an excellent candidate for intradermal allergy testing followed by a course of desensitization shots. Definitely not a quick fix, but in the long term may reduce or eliminate the need for antihistamines and other medications.
I'm not sure what type of allergies your horse has, but for my guy with terrible allergies, I ended up having him allergy tested and doing allergy shots. Once we got through the initial round of shots (which are every few days for a while and are quite tedious) I haven't regretted them for a minute. He is comfortable and happy, the shots are easy and much cheaper than medications to help manage the allergies, and I no longer have to worry about side effects and legal issues with long term drug usage. I would definitely talk to your vet to see if they are an option, as they were, by far, the best option for my horse and I.
You could try testing his Selenium and vitamin E levels. Low levels often result in the symptoms you describe and are easily corrected with adequate supplementation. I had a horse whose allergy tests and symptoms ("heaves") seem very similar to yours. Over the course of about 20 years, I tried dietary changes, allergy shots, clenbuterol, albuterol.... with minimal results if any. Finally, in 2003, I tried supplementing with Se/vit E in the course of researching a paper I was writing on selenium deficiency for an online class on Equine Nutrition. The results were dramatically positive: my little guy was breathing more easily at the age of 28 than he had at 15. Additional + for your purposes: no rules against vit/min supplementation.
Start with the blood tests, though (done through Michigan State when I last used them). They are the only way you can really know if your horse's levels are "below adequate" (i.e., low enough to open the door to allergies without being so low as to bring on the diseases that characterize "deficiency.") As is always the case with supplements, they will not do any good (and could possibly harm) if your horse's levels are already adequate (or on the high side.)
I've treated 2 "heavey horses" with Se/E supplementation, both with entirely positive results. Consequently, it's become the first thing I think of when confronted with cases of allergic horses with respiratory symptoms.
I use spirulina powder (from herbalcom.com) and Equinacea from Equilite - both with his am and pm feed.
I've had him on those both for years and we almost never have a breathing or hive outbreak anymore.
horse-journal.com recommends spirulina. that didn't do it on it's own but combined with the Equinacea, seems to help significantly.
you may also want to check his feed. I initially thought that whole grains would be better but he's allergic to the very small weed seeds that are in with oats no matter how many times they are washed.
This doesn't specificly answer your question about competition, and you may already know this from any dietary changes youve made... but it's important that if you try different supplements ect, make only one change at a time. Every horse is different. Spirulina made my girl's hives worse. The allergy shots have been working well. They did take a full year to really see a difference. The blood test was key in making the right environmental changes.
I have a friend with an Icey who's got bad allergies (both respiratory and dermatologic). I'll ask her about her regimen, but I know that for the respiratory allergies, the things that help the most are (1) not keeping the horse in the barn with the other horses; just outside the barn, she has her own stall (a converted garden shed, which works for a 13 hand pony but would not for a full-size horse) with the top part of the door always open, and (2) she steams the horse's hay. Neither of these things would "test" of course She also gets about 6 hours of turnout per day.
This little mare is now 18 and she does everything -- trail rides, jumping, low level dressage, foxhunting, carriage driving, you name it. Because she's so sensitive to dust, most of her work happens outside the arena. So there is hope!
(Now, off to trail ride with the Icey and her owner.)
I'd consult an acupuncturist. My mare uses TCM herbs and does wonderfully. But the acupuncturist can select the right herbs, or treat with needling. I've used it for my own allergies with tremendous success.
when my old horse got allergies we first treated it with smzs as we thought it was a cold. it went away and came back.
the vet said he could scope him and charge me 1k or i could put him on msm which is a natural anti inflammatory and cough free which is herbal and ginger root etc. he said it was allergies.
it worked like a charm. i ended up just sticking with the msm. and had him on it for a year. then i ran out of it and said, eh he doesnt need it anymore. 2 weeks later he started coughing again. so i put him back on it.
i think it really works!
try MSM...it is legal and I have seen it help several horses with allergies....also not sure if you are already doing this but obviously cutting down on the dust in his environment will help...hay and sawdust...had a friend who had a little Arabian...and every spring and fall he would rub his tail out and get itchy all over...put him on MSM and no more itchy...take him off...itchy itchy itchy so it may also work with other allergy issues...