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My Horse Has Hives :(

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  • My Horse Has Hives :(

    It started 2 weeks ago and he is still having hives go away and then come back. My vet gave me antihistamines to give him. How long does it take to work? Any previous experience on how effective this medication is?

  • #2
    My first horse broke out in serious hives a couple of times one summer (late in the summer, as I recall)-- huge grapefruit-sized things all over his body, including his face. Vet gave me some sort of steroid powder to add to his feed to keep it at bay-- since it was a steroid, it was something I could only use sparingly; IIRC, they came and went a couple times before finally just not coming back. Best guess was that he was allergic to some particular insect or something.

    You might do well to take a close, CLOSE look at his environment and try to find out what's the different factor that might be causing the hives-- if whatever he's allergic to is something he will continue to encounter, then the problem isn't gonna go away anytime soon.
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thats what I am worried about. I changed his bedding from straw to shavings and that didn't work. Today we are only giving him 1st cut hay. And tomorrow we are putting him on a different pasture. Can hives be permanent or will they always go away with meds?

      Comment


      • #4
        They will go away! My mare gets them every spring. I cold hose her, seems to take the swelling down. Cortisone cream helps too, you should start seeing improvement shortly.

        Comment


        • #5
          My chestnut got hives this year, started about a month ago. The hives coincided with really bad mosquitoes, we figured he has gotten allergic to them. He's been getting 12 benadryl (generic) twice a day and turned out with a fly sheet and mask. He still has a few hives, but its not like how it was pre-benadryl (head swollen).
          Unrepentant carb eater

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          • #6
            I would look into a good quality probiotic - gut health is very important to overall well being. Several years ago my OTTB came down with horrible oozing hives that lasted for weeks. He was covered from his head to his tail after we got home from a stressful competition one weekend. I spent hundreds of $$ on anthistamines and steriods, systematically changed his feed, hay, stall, and bedding - all with no effect. Then I put him on a pre/probiotic on the advice of a homepathic vet and 24 hours later, every hive was gone!
            We did end up keeping a beet pulp based feed for him, to provide more roughage, and it seems to encourage him to drink more too. Always a good thing!

            Good luck,
            Susan
            Last edited by TBFAN; Sep. 26, 2011, 08:34 PM. Reason: added more info

            Comment


            • #7
              According to my vets, hives are "generally" an allergic reaction. Up til last spring, I had seen them, but never had them on one of our own horses. Whammy, THREE of ours all came down with horrible hives - full-body coverage, oozing through the skin, etc etc. Oddly, none of the horses seemed to be very bothered by itching - if that had been my hide I'd have been rubbing it clean off!

              NOTHING had changed, same hay, bedding, watering, feed. The vets (yes, multiple) all suggested biting insects - mosquitoes or gnats - so an all-out campaign on insect eradication ensued - no change AT ALL. Benadryl was laughably ineffective on all 3. The only thing that would knock down the reaction was dexamethasone, so we went that route - had one open broodie with all four legs in standing wraps to keep her skin from splitting on her cannons.

              Since bug control did not seem to be the problem, I started looking into other things these three had in common - ALL three were diggers, grubbing at their fencelines for any hint of vegetation. In this country, that's usually buttercups - and yes, they were digging up and consuming ROOTS.... Doggone hard to eliminate that around here. I dug them out along fences as much as I could, and things got somewhat better.

              It was a gawd-awful long wet spring, and finally when summer came and the world started to dry out, everything subsided as if it had never been. Nice, long dry summer - and associated overgrazing of our limited pasture turnout, leaving very little grass or clover and a heck of a lot of buttercups.

              Young gelding (one of the three originally affected) suddenly turns up a week ago with all-over hives. I confined him (he's been on turnout with two other geldings, neither of whom has so much as one bump), and watched. Sure enough he went immediately to grubbing up roots again, and immediately went into full-blown huge hives again. I hit him with two days of double doses of dex - and dug out all his fencelines and laid down a heavy coating of slaked lime (same stuff you put down in stalls) - the only thing that deters him. Fingers crossed and knocking madly on my wooden head, he's still smooth and hive-free..... I'll just make darn sure he can't so much as look closely at another buttercup in the future!

              I will say that it does not seem to be the upper part of the plant that is this toxic, it is the roots. All foals in this part of the world seem to go through a phase of eating buttercups, and they all get icky black diarrhea as a result. It clears up when they finally quit eating buttercup (they find that there's tastier stuff out there). The stuff is mildly toxic in all of its parts, and if cut with hay, the toxins evidently evaporate and the Ag extension says it's actually fairly nutritious if cured in hay.

              My repro vet tells me that she had more horses with hives this spring (see weather commentary) than ever in her career. She also suggested that I try a course of Platinum Performance's Equine Platinum Skin & Allergy supplement for this horse, as she's seen good results with it - man is it expensive..... I am seeing if environmental controls can do the
              trick for him for now.

              For the OP, look hard at whether your horse is ingesting something that is subtle - what looked like just licking up dirt (mineral seeking in the spring) was actually root mining in my horses' case!
              Homesick Angels Farm
              breeders of champion Irish Draught Sporthorses
              standing Manu Forti's Touch Down RID
              www.IrishHuntersandJumpers.com

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Our pastures are pretty burned out and short right now.So I am wondering if he is eating something that isn't his first choice that he might be allergic to. Thank you for the advice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MorganLuvr848 View Post
                  Thats what I am worried about. I changed his bedding from straw to shavings and that didn't work. Today we are only giving him 1st cut hay. And tomorrow we are putting him on a different pasture. Can hives be permanent or will they always go away with meds?
                  I've had two mares that react with hives to oils (or dust, depending on who you talk to) in loose shavings.

                  It could be something ingested, but my experience has been skin contact.

                  Try more baths/rinsing ... my horse's hives are always reduced after a ride (where she sweats a lot).
                  *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Didnt read all of the previous posts, but 2 of my geldings have been getting severe hives (almost full body) after each bad rain for the past few months. Vet gave me dexamethazone and I give them each one packet when hives start appearing. Theyre always almost completely gone within a few hours.

                    Side note: I asked my vet about anything OTC that I could give them when I didnt have any more dex and he said NO to anything otc, including benadryl. I was in a hurry so I didnt ask why. Ill definitely ask next time, cause if thats an option, it would be cheaper!
                    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
                      Didnt read all of the previous posts, but 2 of my geldings have been getting severe hives (almost full body) after each bad rain for the past few months. Vet gave me dexamethazone and I give them each one packet when hives start appearing. Theyre always almost completely gone within a few hours.

                      Side note: I asked my vet about anything OTC that I could give them when I didnt have any more dex and he said NO to anything otc, including benadryl. I was in a hurry so I didnt ask why. Ill definitely ask next time, cause if thats an option, it would be cheaper!
                      Never heard of a vet vetoing benedryl for hives. Not quite as effective as dex but a hell of a lot safer.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        rcloisonne-- What are the risks with Dex? I'm going to be sure to ask my vet why Benadryl is not an option because Ive heard a lot of people have used it...
                        Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                        White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                        Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've got a horse that had a lot of allergy problems this year-- both respiratory and hives.

                          Once the hives developed, the only thing that would get rid of them was a course of dexamethasone. I tried him on the antihistamine Hydroxyzine, which wasn't doing much good for either the hives or the respiratory issues. This went on for a couple of months.

                          My vet suggested putting him on Platinum Performance Skin and Allergy. Once he started on this, the hives quit reoccurring. Respiratory issues (lots of snorting and snotting) stayed the same. I took him off of it a couple of weeks ago because I thought things were starting to resolve, and the hives returned over the weekend. It could be a coincidence -- I don't know. But for right now, he's back on it and will probably stay on it until snowfall.

                          The stuff is vile -- smells horrible and I had to syringe it into his mouth until he got used to it. It did put some beautiful dapples on him.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If he was my horse I would be asking the vet for some Dex to get things under control. I have a horse that is allergic to just about everything (things got so bad this summer that I had him allergy tested this summer) and when he had a bad reaction to a tick bite the only thing that treated the hives and swelling was course of dex.
                            Ann
                            ~\"Think today so you will be here to think tomorrow\" Burma Shave~

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
                              rcloisonne-- What are the risks with Dex? I'm going to be sure to ask my vet why Benadryl is not an option because Ive heard a lot of people have used it...
                              Laminitis. The risk is even mentioned on the drug insert. While the risk is allegedly small, vets still should inform owners of this possibility. IMP, powerful drugs such as dexamethsone should be reserved for life threatening illness. Hives, unless accompanied by something more serious such as breathing difficulties aren't worth that risk.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Wow, i'm really surprised to hear that. My vet gave me 3 or 4 of their
                                "pre packaged packets" of Dex when he was out for a completely unrelated issue.

                                Due to the packaging, I have never recieved a drug insert or any verbal warnings. I'm surprised to hear about the level of risk...my vet's clinic is well known and has a fantastic reputation. This is definitely something I will be asking them, as well as researching on my own. Thanks for alerting me to these risks!

                                Also, sorry for hijacking the thread!
                                Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Are there any side effects for antihistamines?

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    UPDATE

                                    Hives have gone away, but something else has started. He has been getting scabs in patches all over his head. They are scaly and they aren't from skin getting rubbed off. What do you think this could be?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      POOR GUY!... What are you using to treat his skin? Is there something new or different in his environment or activities?

                                      T-CEL shampoo is something you can buy right away and is likely to help with the symptoms of the issue ... I've seen it in a few horses, right at the forelock area, but not all over the face
                                      *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        I have just been washing his face. I will give that a try. Does this sound like a contact allergy to you?

                                        Comment

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