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How does a soy allergy manifest?

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  • How does a soy allergy manifest?

    With all this talk about soy, I wanted to ask how the allergy shows up in your horses. My friend is having a ton of issues with her previously quiet mare and I'm wondering if this could be a cause.


  • #2
    Thank you Tee, I'm wondering the same thing.
    Behavior issues, itchiness?
    How about GI issues?


    • #3
      My normally reasonable mare became extremely hormonal on a soy based ration balancer. She stayed in season for two weeks out of every month. She was peeing a smelly, gooey, pee that stuck in her tail and down her back legs. She did not come out of her heat cycles the whole Winter. Believe me, trying to wash sticky, smelly gunk off of her hind legs and out of her tail, in 10 degree weather, was not fun!

      Once Spring arrived it seemed to get worse. She was not able to focus on her work. She was oogley-googley over every gelding that was boarded with her.

      It took about 2 months for the soy sensitivity to completely go away, after I stopped feeding her that feed (It was a ration balancer from Progressive.). Eventually, my mare went back to normal cycles and sanity under saddle.

      Now, I am very careful to read the labels on feed products. If you can get McCauley Brothers feed, they have come out with a product called M-10. It has 10 percent protein and no soy.

      My mare has been on it for about six months. I have not seen her dapples this pronounced, nor her coat so shiney, in a very long time.
      When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


      • #4
        A putative "hormonal" effect is not at all the same thing as an allergy.

        It takes a fair amount of a phytoestrogen to impact a horse's endocrine system.

        But it takes only minute amounts to trigger an allergic reaction in an allergic individual.

        Most allergic reactions are manifested as skin rashes, GI upset, hives, nasal discharge, headshaking, etc.

        Since MANY things have an impact on "behavior", including an excess of calories, it's very hard to pin this down to being a "soy problem" or a "time of year" problem or a training problem or a too many calories problem or an estrus problem or a lack of sufficient work problem or any of the other myriad things that make our horses act "different".

        A trace amount of soy, contrary to popular belief, cannot and will not cause any meaningful estrogen-like effect.
        Click here before you buy.


        • #5
          All my horses get the spring crazies, so if I was presented with the same set of symptoms I'd assume it was spring weather.

          I'm pretty steadfast in my belief that anecdotal evidence means nothing to me. I would rather sink my faith and my money in scientific research regarding allergies and joint supplements.


          • Original Poster

            I assumed spring crazies with this mare too, but she's so much worse than she's ever been. Super sensitive, not wanting to work, spooking at EVERYTHING. And I watched her try to run her owner over the other night while she was being led. This is normally a very well mannered horse. Vet has seen her several times, she's seen the chiro and massage lady. Ulcers ruled out. My poor friend is at her wit's end.


            • #7
              My QH gelding had gas colics of undetermined cause for years, mostly in the spring and fall. It seemed that the sweeter grass set it off, and for a long time we attributed the gas bubbles to that. He was also always pretty itchy, the kind who would come up to you and ask for scritches--constantly. He's always been a little snorty/blowy, sounding like chronic sinusitis.

              On a lark, I followed daydream believer's suggestion based on her observations with her herd, and switched from TC Lite or TC Sr (both have a good bit of soy for protein) to plain alfalfa pellets and timothy pellets.

              He's not had a gas bubble since the week that I switched, late last summer. The previous winter, if he grazed on my one patch of grass that's sheltered from the worst of winter weather for 5 minutes, he'd have a bubble 24 hours later. Last weekend, he was out in my better pasture for three hours each day with no after effects at all (I have built up their time on grass gradually since it started coming in this spring).

              If we get through the rest of this spring with no gas bubbles, I'll be convinced. He's also much less itchy this shedding season. Still a bit snorkely, but he's pretty much always been that way, so that may not be related. He's thick in the throatlatch and had some questionable handling in his youth, I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't some residual dammage from that.
              "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

              Spay and neuter. Please.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Tee View Post
                I assumed spring crazies with this mare too, but she's so much worse than she's ever been. Super sensitive, not wanting to work, spooking at EVERYTHING. And I watched her try to run her owner over the other night while she was being led. This is normally a very well mannered horse. Vet has seen her several times, she's seen the chiro and massage lady. Ulcers ruled out. My poor friend is at her wit's end.
                That was my mare. Took me time to figure it out.All you have to do is remove her from soy and find out. You may also want to look at if the horse is eating any flax. Could be that too.

                I live where they grow lots of soy beans. I would not eat soy at all. They spray those things more than cotton. It is a dirty process too. All of it. Yes, they probably clean it, but maybe not for animal feed.

                Take her off and time will tell. Read the labels. Oh and anything which says grain by products or by products may contain soy, so use caution.


                • #9
                  Bloating, recurrent gas colics, odd bumps.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tee View Post
                    I assumed spring crazies with this mare too, but she's so much worse than she's ever been. Super sensitive, not wanting to work, spooking at EVERYTHING. And I watched her try to run her owner over the other night while she was being led. This is normally a very well mannered horse. Vet has seen her several times, she's seen the chiro and massage lady. Ulcers ruled out. My poor friend is at her wit's end.
                    Magnesium deficiency? Those can present similarly to what you're describing, from what I've read.
                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                    • #11
                      My 8 year old (Miniature horse) gelding got obese on a tiny amount of Triple Crown Lite, which is soy based. He was lethargic and cranky to work and wouldn't loose weight even when consistently exercised. His neck got cresty and hard, his sheath was swollen, his eyes ran constantly, his neck glands were swollen, and he passed liquid with gas and his stools were soft. I took him off the TCL and put him on soaked beet put and top dressed with supplements (CA Trace). Within 2 weeks 1/2 the symptoms were gone, within 2 months he was feeling, acting and looking better.