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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2007
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    3,138

    Default Hives

    I have a sensitive red head OTTB and it looks like she has hives. Very small bumps on neck, face, butt. Larger ones on her sides and belly. We haven't had very many bugs so far, no change in feed, no change in much of anything. I first noticed them Monday- didn't see her again till Wednesday at which point looked a little worse. If they aren't any better today I'll be calling the vet. They don't seem to itch or bother her but just look bad. I suppose the vet will give her a cotisone shot. Anyone else have a horse who has or has had hives? How were they treated?
    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,348

    Default

    OMG. I had a chestnut hive monster lol. I never gave him dex, I used benedryl orally, 12 25 mg capsules twice daily + baths. He was allergic to certain kinds of pollen. A fly sheet with neck helped too, as it kept the pollen off him.

    I had him allergy tested, it wasn't terribly expensive, about $200ish, and we were able to eliminate enough allergens (he was allergic to LOTS of stuff) that he stopped breaking out into hives.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    13,845

    Default

    Both my current horse and my previous horse are prone to hives and have various allergies that manifest as hives and/or skin crud. Unless it is a super serious, aggressive case, usually a dose or two of dex will clear them up. If it is a contact allergy, a rinse or bath in something soothing can help.

    I've also had hives, exactly as you describe, pop up here and there throughout a barn, especially this time of year. A dose or two of dex and they go away. I'm sure it is some allergen or exposure that various horses overreact (kinda like hay fever for us). I've also had horses break out in hives if they get rained on (both my guys, and one other mare I have in the barn). Again, usually a shower and a dose of dex.

    If they keep coming back, you'll want to find out the culprit,then eliminate or reduce exposure. My old guy's biggest trigger was beet pulp, along with a few other food allergies (we allergy tested him). My current guy is all contact stuff....sweat (yes. Probably the protein in his sweat), rain, various shampoos (can't use anything with colloidal oatmeal in it), etc. This guy is EXTREMELY sensitive- very dry skin, gets rubbed easily, etc. I have the best luck keep hives to a minimum by keeping his coat and skin in very good shape. Lots of good grooming, a high fat diet (helps keep the dry skin at bay), little to no soapy baths. Those things plus avoiding the worst culprits helps, but he'll still randomly break out.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2005
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    1,580

    Default

    My chestnut mare broke out in hives about four weeks after starting a new grain (Strategy Healthy Edge - 1 lb/day). She lives outside 24/7 and it was winter so not due to shavings or pollen/weeds. Contacted Purina and they said there was no way it was the grain. Kept her off the grain for 3-4 months. Gave her a pound of grain - she broke out in hives within hours. Sure seems like the grain to me. She will sometimes get some welts from midges and gnats in the summer but those aren't a big problem here (desert).
    Crayola Posse - Pine Green
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    Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)




  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2011
    Posts
    75

    Default

    a few cc of dex has cleared up most of the allergy prone ones we've had. current mare, however, is allergic to everything horse related(dust, every type of wood, flies.....the list goes on).

    we ended up putting her on prednisolone for a little over a month after battling with the massive hives for months. we had been treating her with dex but laminitis was becoming too big a possibility for on the daily dex use. the pred sure cleared it right up.

    really, it depends on whether it is an ongoing problem for you...seems to be dex for short term(seasonal) problem, steroid(ie pred) for an ongoing problem.

    what i have found works best, which a previous poster mentioned, is keeping their coat and skin as healthy as possible. good luck!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2011
    Posts
    75

    Default

    a few cc of dex has cleared up most of the allergy prone ones we've had. current mare, however, is allergic to everything horse related(dust, every type of wood, flies.....the list goes on).

    we ended up putting her on prednisolone for a little over a month after battling with the massive hives for months. we had been treating her with dex but laminitis was becoming too big a possibility for on the daily dex use. the pred sure cleared it right up.

    really, it depends on whether it is an ongoing problem for you...seems to be dex for short term(seasonal) problem, steroid(ie pred) for an ongoing problem.

    what i have found works best, which a previous poster mentioned, is keeping their coat and skin as healthy as possible. good luck!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    12,241

    Default

    It is frequently related to something they ate. The hard part is figuring out what.

    Meanwhile check with your veterinarian for something to short circuit the cycle.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 15, 2007
    Location
    (throw dart at map) NC!
    Posts
    6,294

    Default

    My mare is prone to hives when a) she gets multiple vaccines at once (I stagger them) and b) stung by a bee. I call the vet out to address the hives - even though she doesn't itch, she just looked miserable and puffy - and she gets put on a course of dexamethasone. Perhaps your horse got stung by a bee or bitten by a spider?
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    13,845

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by carolinagirl17 View Post
    we ended up putting her on prednisolone for a little over a month after battling with the massive hives for months. we had been treating her with dex but laminitis was becoming too big a possibility for on the daily dex use. the pred sure cleared it right up.
    Yes. My horse had a horrible, horrible period late winter/early spring a year ago after an allergic reaction to a vet procedure. We tried several different approaches with little to no effect. Pred, staggered over the course of several weeks, finally kicked it. Of course, it was months of recovery, too (he lost most of his hair along his topline in the process. That didn't really grow back until he grew his winter coat).

    I still prefer elimination and prevention! Much better than pumping drugs into them. But, good drugs are nice to have when it gets ugly.

    FWIW, my horse now lives on house brand Zyrtec, which I think has helped a TREMENDOUS amount. We have had only very minor issues since starting him on it after the pred last year (see good drugs above ).



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2007
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    3,138

    Default

    I saw her yesterday and she seems to be getting a bit better. Does not seem bothered by the hives. Going to keep an eye on her and hope she continues to get better. She is bright eyed, energetic, and being her "normal" self.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2011
    Posts
    138

    Default

    This was my second winter in Central Florida and my Hanoverian gelding went through a spell of hives --- which we think was caused by "stinging nettles" (what they call them down here -- small weeds that are much smaller than the nettles I am used to in Western NY) and/or "fire weed" in his pasture. Some days he had alot of small hives -- some days they were quite large and for about a week he had a stocked up fetlock area. He never seemed terribly bothered by them -- no excessive rubbing and didn't seem agitated (and he is a sensitive guy and can be "twitchy") -- and so vet and I agreed to keep an eye on him and not try any drugs. The barn staff was great and very vigilant about getting rid of the weeds in his pasture and that combined with warmer weather (these weeds evidently die off as the weather warms up) seems to have done the trick.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2013
    Posts
    1,047

    Default

    Omega horse shine helps keep my gelding's allergic reaction to bug bites to a minimum.



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