Equine Allergies

We have been battling allergies in my daughter’s horse for 3 years now.

She first started having problems as a 4-year-old. We had traveled to Arkansas for a rodeo Bible camp.

When we put fresh shavings in her stall there, she broke out in hives. I gave her steroids and she was fine.

The next year she would periodically have bouts of hives or runny eyes or itching.

Last year she began having upper respiratory problems. She would cough or sound like she had something caught in her throat.

We had her scoped – a little camera put into her throat to look around. She had “blisters” all in her throat, consistent with allergies. No infections.

We knew that shavings were not her friend. We changed her bedding to straw. We put her on allergy medication. She actually takes 15-20 cetirizine (Zyrtec) every day. She gets extra omega 3 in her feed. She eats chaff hay (a moist, fermented alfalfa).

We finally sent in an allergy panel to HESKA.

She came back allergic to life in Louisiana.

She is severely allergic to dust mites.

How do you eliminate that in a barn?

You don’t.

She is also allergic to gnats, horse flies, cockroaches, and all the other insects that live in a pasture or barn in south Louisiana.

So how in the world do we deal with this?

Well, thankfully, HESKA makes allergy shots.

We have started her every 4 days at a super low dose of antigen. Then she will gradually increase until we get to full strength. Exactly like a human gets allergy shots.

It can take 4-6 months to see good results.

I will keep you updated on how it’s going.

Happy Friday everyone!

We are off to the rodeo.

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