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Equine Vet
Equine Vet, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 206
Experience:  I have worked with many types of horses, from racing Thoroughbreds to Grand Prix jumpers.
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How can I cure or at least treat hives in my horse

Customer Question

How can I cure or at least treat hives in my horse?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Equine Vet replied 5 years ago.
Hi,
There is little you can do without veterinary help to rid a horse of hives (even temporarily). If you have an idea what may have started the hives (for instance, a particular insect biting your horse, a plant or tree blooming, different hay, etc.), often removing the horse from the allergen is enough to stop the stimulation and the hives may regress in a few days on their own. Sometimes giving the horse a bath removes whatever irritant has caused the hives. More likely, if the hives persist over more than a couple of days, you will need your vet to examine your horse and administer and dispense a combination of medciations to stop the inflammation. I usually use an injectable antihistamine and an injectable steroid followed by an oral steroid in a decreasing dose over a week or so. Some vets will prescribe a daily oral antihistamine such as Trihist to prevent future occurrances, although the response to antihistamines in horses is generally low. The best thing would be to have a veterinarian examine your horse to see what should be done, although in the meantime you may elect to try a bath and avoidance of potential allergens/irritants (maybe stay indoors a few days if the hives started outdoors...). Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Equine Vet, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 206
Experience: I have worked with many types of horses, from racing Thoroughbreds to Grand Prix jumpers.
Equine Vet and other Horse Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Unfortunatly, this is not the first time my horse has had this problem. I am aware that the pasture the horse was in may have caused the breathing problems and I have removed him from there. I have also heard that after cutting a pasture the grass seeds can mold and cause the inflamation. If this is true I am at fault for not having moved him sooner. I took him to the vet last year and after giving him pills for 2 weeks he got much better but I was hoping for the slightest chance that besides moving him from his pasture I would be able to treat him and cure him with some other remedy.
Expert:  Equine Vet replied 5 years ago.
Unfortunately if the hives are from an environmental cause as you have mentioned, avoidance is the the best remedy, so moving him, especially in times of high allergen load (such as when the pasture is cut, as you say), may be a necessity. You might talk to your vet about giving the Trihist a try and see if that keeps the hives at bay during the growing season. It is an oral medication that horses usually readily ingest as it is in a corn base. Another thing to consider would be blood allergy testing to determine which specific allergens he is reacting to, and then a series of "hyposensitization" injections can be made specifically for his problem allergens. There is a loading period for these injections and then they are spaced further apart, depending on response to treatment. Some of our clients find that this works well for their horses with allergy issues, so it may be something else to consider. Unfortunately there is no magic bullet for hives that I can tell you about, and you may need a combination of moving pastures and medictaions to keep the hives down and his breathing normal. Let me know if you have more questions.

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