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  • Hives?

    I have had my mare for about over 4 years now, since she was a 4 year old. Overall, she has been very healthy, no issues at all. She's a sensitive chestnut- but for a chestnut she has been great! She broke out in hives last spring for no reason. Not huge or anything, but all over her body. Nothing that we know had been changed, and she wasn't bothered by them. A vet happened to be at the farm checking out the new foal, so he looked at her and gave her a shot of antihistamine... hives disappeared and I thought nothing of it.

    She is now living about 3 hours away from me at a friend's while I finish school. She has been there about 5 months. The environment is completely different.. very dry and very cold. I haven't seen her since she went up, but the person who has her says she is (and has been) very happy and healthy. She has been living in a field, so has gotten fat and enjoyed the `retired`life. She is not super into food to being with- normally if something is wrong her appetite will decrease significantly. Anyways... what happened is about two or three weeks ago the person that has her came home from a weekend away and she had a round raised circle on her neck (hollow centre). The lady assumed it was ringworm - common in the area- but the hair never fell out. She ended up getting bumps all over her body and the lady thought it might be some sort of rain rot. She had been sitting in a winter blanket, and it went from being very cold to fairly warm and she probably sweated a bit under her blanket. Blanket came off to let her skin air out. It is very dry where she is so rain rot is not common. The bumps all over her body turned out to be hives and are itchy right now. The vet came out today to see her and said he`s not sure what it is. She is going to get steroid shots for a week and something to make sure the weeping hives don`t get infected.

    Anyways... here`s my question. -I- do not know this vet. I think that it sounds like some sort of allergic reaction... similar to what she had before. He said that if the hives disappear over the next week from the steroids, that it is probably an autoimmune issue? I though hives were essentially autoimmine. I thought they were common... and I thought that time and some steroids would diminish them?
    Has anyone experienced this? What kind of autoimmune problem would he be talking about if theyre not just hives?
    Please help I wish I could be there to see her for myself... sounds to me theyre fairly similar to the hives she had before!!
    Oh.. and the vet is returning next week to check her out again.

    I have no experience with this! My old gelding broke out in hives randomly (often around hay changes) and we just put him on antihistamine. My mare has been good about this kinda stuff and I thought the hives in the spring were just a flukey incident.
    .:: a n d i ::.

    Currently horseless and hating it!
    Missing two very special horses - Maddy & Perry

  • #2
    Hi Andi,

    You're describing exactly what happened to my yearling last spring. We thought it was the craziest case of ringworm...the hives would go away for a week after a shot of Dex and then return. Paid for the SPOT test and it is allergies - 30 things including timothy, orchard, blue grass, aspen, sage... She is now getting the allergy shots. It is quite a process in the beginning and there have still been a few bumps here & there, but not the dramatic welts she had in the beginning. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for when the snow melts and everything starts blooming again.

    Something to ask your friend to check - my filly appears to just get hives, but if you listen carefully, there is a slight catch in her breathing when the hives are really bad. It's not just a cosmetic problem. I just started her on Spirulina (she hates it) and she has been getting Smart Breathe which seems to help.

    I hope you find a solution - I have been doing most of my research through the experiences shared here in the forums. The shared wisdom has been so helpful.


    • #3
      We have a half-arab who suddenly came down with a case of severe hives, with open weeping sores....we had the allergy tests done , found what he was allergic to, went thru the shot regimin for months, and since just try to keep him away from what he is allergic to....has not had hives since, even though he has gotten into the alfalfa bale once in awhile which often contains the weed to which he is allergic. In our experience, having the allergy tests was well worth it.


      • #4
        yep, me too

        out of the blue, mymps, tb sprouted hives. started out as a few bumps on his neck, which spread across his body, and got bigger, and then collapsed in the middle, producing the ringlike appearance the OP described.

        I was mystified - we hadn't received a new load of hay, feed or shavings, and mine was the only horse affected. The only variable we could think of was the beet pulp I had been feeding him for the last two years. I stopped the beetpulp, and the hives disappeared. go figure. and good luck !
        Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

        Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs


        • Original Poster

          well... hives are apparently gone and she's not itchy at all. Good news... but doesn't explain anything! I'm happy she's feeling better and I'm glad my friend won't have a big hassle on her hands. Fingers crossed she stays looking good!
          .:: a n d i ::.

          Currently horseless and hating it!
          Missing two very special horses - Maddy & Perry