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Hives~Pressure points?

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  • Hives~Pressure points?

    Ya, I know, it seems really far-fetched but I imagine you guys may have dealt with this. Sorry this gets a little long...
    Last weekend, I pulled my TB in from his field (grass is dying off and therefore more sugary, horse has been out there all-day-every-day for 3 weeks and off/on before that). I brushed him, tacked him up, got on and went for a 20 minute W-T-C on our property. When we returned, he was I.T.C.H.Y. I pulled off his tack and he went nuts, rubbing, rolling, bucking in his stall. Within 30 seconds, he had hives starting to erupt all over himself EXCEPT where the saddle had been. He got bumpier and itchier as I stood watching. His vitals were normal except for the flaming red mucous membrane inside his mouth and a somewhat elevated respiration due to the in-stall activity of itching like crazy. !0 minutes in, I decided I might have an emergency on my hands. Called our clinic. Was told to give 1000 lb dose Banamine and 250 mg Benadryl. The Banamine had almost instantaneous results of quieting the poor thing. The Benadryl took away the itch and most of the swelling within the first hour. Sheath is still massive. Nothing was different in any of the routines that day except for one thing...I was trying a new saddle. Has anyone had an experience like this? I know when Chiro, massage or acupuncture takes place, a few raised bumps can pop up where pressure points get hit. This was super dramatic. My vet says for me to keep Epi and Dex with the horse at all times as the next bout could be FATAL. Come on, o wise ones, tell me your stories...I'm nervous to put him back out in the grass!! I sent the saddle back...I did sort of want to try it again to see if this all happened again but vet made me too nervous! TIA
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

  • #2
    I have never heard of a hive point on the body. (doesn't mean that it doesn't exist tho )

    I have a very hive prone TB, and from what you describe, it sounds more like a contact allergic reaction, like he was allergic to an allergen you rode through. (hence why there were no hives under the saddle)

    My horse is just like that during rag weed season. If he is remotely near a plant, every inch of his body that is uncovered will erupt in hives. I wash him off and give benedryl. Washing removes the allergen and stops the reaction.
    Unrepentant carb eater


    • #3
      Sounds scary! I've nothing to offer on pressure points, but some variants of hives/urticaria can be contact-induced.

      Did the bumps eventually erupt where the saddle had been? It could be that the pressure from the saddle simply temporarily suppressed the eruption of hives and that it was nothing to do with the saddle. Could he have been stung by something or traipsed through some thistle or other nasty weedy patch? Was the saddle *brand* new and maybe coated with some sort of icky chemical or dye residue?

      Yikes. Hope he's better. Anaphylaxis is bloody terrifying. Agree with having epi and dex on hand. My bottle of epi has expired and there is a shortage currently so although I don't dwell on it it does bother me not to have it on hand.
      Click here before you buy.


      • Original Poster

        Welllll, harrumph. The turn out field is small and unchanged. He's been out there daily. Alone. He is clipped so is fully dressed. There was no bump in sight when I got him dressed to ride. Our hack was down our driveway, into and around our hay field and back up the driveway. Same (Bloody Boring) Route we do every single day, ad nauseum. The only difference in any of it was the saddle. No, it isn't new, my daughter bought it 2nd hand 2 months ago and loaned it to see if I want to pursue the brand for myself. My saddle pads hadn't been washed in 3 days (3 rides), I was wearing the same old 1/2 chaps and down jacket. Yes, his back did break out, hugely, about 5 minutes in-just not instantly as the rest of him did. Every growing thing around here is dead. We've been frosty for a month. How long do I wait for his sheath to shrink? It is the size of a softball. Poor guy. Thanks, kids...
        Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


        • #5
          Did he break a sweat? If he did - I wonder if that would have been enough to trigger the reaction to the mystery allergen. Also, my horse has broken out in hives from just sweat. Good times with mr. orange princess. LOL.

          I had my guy allergy tested this spring, wasn't super expensive, around $200. The test seems accurate and its been very helpful.

          For instance, I know he's allergic to ragweed, not insects (mosquito season and ragweed season are simultaneous) and eliminating food allergens has eliminated the swollen legs.

          For the sheath, I'd keep giving benedryl until its gone at 25 mg/ 100 lbs and cold hose and dmso.
          Unrepentant carb eater


          • Original Poster

            JM-Thanks. The sweat was minimal, only a very small hand print of it where neck meets shoulder and not till after all the in-stall bouncing. I guess the allergy testing is my next step. My last horse was allergic to corn, cotton seed, beet pulp and wheat. AND had EPSM. Try feeding THAT monster...
            Good reminders on the sheath. Duh, I missed on that, my vet is so casual on the subject, saying 'o ya, those take forever to go down.' Well the poor guy is too ouchy for words.
            Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


            • #7
              First off, why didn't your vet give you hydroxyzine for a daily(non steroid) solution? Then you could at least have less fear of this happening without having to give him a steroid at the exact moment of this happening. Ask for the hydrox. to have on hand. I would do the allergy testing but see if you can do the skin test and the blood test so you can compare. You can sometimes get false positives. My horse is on allergy shots and it has really helped him.