Four Types of Horse Allergic Reactions

Four Types of Horse Allergic Reactions

Horse allergies are almost as common as human allergies and can be broken down into four categories.  With horses, it’s not always just a quick fix of giving them some antihistamines.  There is more you can do to help them feel comfortable and even prevent some of the horse allergic reactions by increasing their immune system beforehand.

What Are the Four Types of Horse

Allergic Reactions?

  • Insect Bites are the most common of horse allergic reactions. Allergies from Culicoidges, known as the “Sweet Itch” is one of the main ones.  It causes problems like eczema which causes the horse to scratch, bite themselves, and rub up against things to try and get relief.  This can lead to cuts and sores that then get infected.  

    Other insect’s bites that cause trouble for horses are the black fly, deer fly, fleas, and mites.  Insect bite allergies cause itching, bald spots, and inflamed areas with redness. Signs of allergies in horses will usually show up on their belly, root of the mane, face, or base of the tail.

  • Airborne Allergies usually cause itching, weeping eyes, tiredness, and respiratory problems in horses. Horse coughing can also be a sign of an allergic reaction.  Signs of airborne allergies are easy to spot with an itchy horse. 

    Pollen, dust, and mold are the worse of the airborne allergies and can cause heaves, which is an allergy based problem also known as recurrent airway obstruction (RAO).  Horses may have trouble breathing, and this can be serious.

  • Contact allergies are self-explanatory. Your horse comes in contact with something that they are allergic too, and it’s not always easy to figure out.  This type of horse allergy can cause hair loss and sores on their body.

  • Food allergies are the least common allergic reaction in horses. But when it does happen, they may experience hives, colic, and itchy skin.

Horses with hay fever and other equine allergies will usually show visible signs so that you will know quickly there is a problem. 

How Serious Can Horse Allergic Reactions Be?

Horse allergies can be very serious if not treated properly and on time.  Besides sores and itchy skin, you may notice coughing, wheezing, sneezing, and even head shaking.  If the problem is really serious, the horse may experience anaphylaxis which requires immediate attention!  This means they have had a serious drop in their blood pressure and are having difficulty breathing.

Treatment and Preventative Care for

Horse Allergies

One of the first things a vet will do is start your horse on antihistamines for their allergies.  For sores, they may also treat with ointments.  This is a great start to getting your horse well on their way to recovery. 

If you know what’s causing the allergic reaction you can try to remove it.  Keeping stalls clean of dust and knowing what additives are in your horse’s grain can also help. 

To stop some of these horse allergic reactions from happening there are preventive supplements (just like our Herbal Health dried blend) you can provide them.  Building up their immune system is a key component to having a healthy horse.  With a strong immune system, they are better equipped to withstand allergies, weather conditions, and any other illnesses they come along.

Watch for signs your horse has one of the four types of allergic reactions and treat them preventatively with some great immune and allergy organic supplements like our Immune Booster liquid extract.