Allergies in horsesYou come to the stable and your horse has pustules, wheals, itches non-stop, coughs or has difficulty breathing? All of these can be signs of an allergic reaction! Everything you need to know about allergies in horses can be found in this article.
What are the most common allergies in horses?
There are in general five types of allergies in horses, where insects are in most cases the reason for an allergic reaction. In addition, allergies in horses are caused by Environmental influences, such as grasses, pollen, fungi or dust mites, as well as to feed-induced.
Insect allergy: sweet itch
The most common allergy is sweet itch, which occurs due to a reaction to the bites of the mosquito species Culicoides arises. Since insects only fly around in the warmer months, eczema is limited to those months March to September. Often Icelandic horses imported from Iceland suffer from sweet itch because there is no mosquito species on the island. In addition, the climate on the mainland, in contrast to Iceland, is much milder, which again increases the risk of eczema. Therefore, Icelandic horses are often imported in the autumn and winter months, so that the change is not as severe as in spring or summer. As a preventive measure, imported animals should wear a sweet itch blanket for 2 to 5 years to minimize the risk of sweet itch.
The symptoms of summer eczema is moderate to very severe Itching, Unrest as well as bald to open and bloody scratched body parts. Often these spots are found on the mane and tail, but also on the belly seam, face and chest of the horse.
Unfortunately there are no actual cure this allergy and the horse owners are left with the option of Symptoms to contain. For the treatment of sweet itch, ointments and creams are used, which contain anti-inflammatory, itch-relieving and richly caring ingredients and which are rubbed into the affected areas. In addition, animals wear fly or sweet itch blankets to prevent insects from biting in the first place. In particularly severe cases, a veterinarian may prescribe an ointment containing cortisone or administer a cortisone injection.
Can horses have pollen allergy?
Horses, just like humans, suffer from pollen allergies. Many horses are sensitive to alder pollen and bermudagrass. Flower pollen, for example from rapeseed, also triggers coughing and nasal discharge in some horses.
Another trigger for allergies are Pollen from trees, grasses, house dust and storage mites as well as molds. The symptoms can be different: on the one hand horses show itching or wheals because of this, on the other hand these allergies can also cause breathing problems in the horse.
Another trigger for allergies is pollen from trees, grasses, house dust mites, storage mites, molds.
In this form of allergy, the horse's body reacts allergically to Ingredients in the food, as the concentrate or supplementary feed. A feed allergy occurs rather rarely in horses, in contrast to us humans. If they have an allergy to components of the feed, the horses can develop wheals, pustules and even respiratory problems.
Other allergies are Contact allergies, which are also more common in humans, but very rare in horses. In addition, some horses show allergic reactions to medication, by getting hives, or urticaria, for up.
Are oak processionary moths dangerous to horses??
Oak processionary moths are also a danger for horses. The stinging hairs of the small, gray caterpillars are poisonous to both humans and horses. The wind can cause the hairs to land in the hay or drinking water and become life-threatening.
Recognizing and treating allergies in horses
A direct and unambiguous diagnosis of an allergy is difficult with a horse and it is often only recognized through the Exclusion procedures other possible diseases. In the case of feed, the cause can usually be eliminated quickly, whereas in the case of an environmental or insect allergy, this is much more difficult.
As already explained above, you often have no choice but to to combat symptoms. With an insect allergy, respectively a summer eczema, you can take some measures, so that the itching is relieved. In the best case, your horse should go out to pasture at night, as there are significantly fewer insects flying around at that time. Possibilities the load of the respiratory tract. To reduce the lung. In any case, your horse's stable should have a good, dust-free climate. As soon as it is open and well ventilated, significantly less dust develops. If you bed the stalls with shavings and feed your horse with wet hay, it will be exposed to much less dust and have fewer respiratory problems.
Desensitization as a treatment option
As a treatment for allergies, the so-called desensitization has proven to be effective. Skin as well as food-. Pollen allergies applied. The aim of this treatment is to strengthen the immune system so that it becomes less sensitive to the allergens and stops the defensive reaction.
Often desensitization is done in the form of injections. In this process, the allergy-causing substances are administered to the horse in ever increasing doses over a longer period of time. immune system has become accustomed to the substances. Improvements can be seen.
As a treatment for allergies, the so-called desensitization has proven to be effective.
When are horses considered susceptible to allergies?
Basically, allergies can occur in every horse. The level of allergy risk is determined, among other things, by genes, but also by the housing conditions. Horses whose stables are located in the vicinity of polluted areas are therefore at greater risk of developing allergies.Allergies are also hereditary. Among other things, these horse breeds are at increased risk of developing the disease, according to a US study: Morgans, Swedish Warmbloods, Oldenburgs, Hackney horses. Other risk patients are Icelandic horses. The robust four-legged friends suffer particularly often from skin allergies such as sweet itch. About 30 percent of the Icelandic horses living in Germany are eczema sufferers.
What to do if a horse has an allergy that is?
Basically, these points should be considered when a horse suffers from an allergy:
– Avoid known allergens – Strengthen the immune system – Build up and maintain healthy intestinal flora – Enrich feed with necessary vital substances – Avoid stress
What role does the intestinal flora play?
According to a specialist in immunology, Dr. Kay Bredehorst, experts are convinced that the majority of allergies are arise in the intestine. For this reason an adequate Feeding of allergic horses of great importance. However, not only the allergy-causing substances should be taken out of the feed. It is also important to ensure that no deficiencies in the horse's supply.
In order to optimal nutrient supply In order to guarantee the optimal nutrition of the allergic horse, the daily ration should be supplemented with a micronutrient-rich compensatory feed. Important ingredients of the feed should be:
– high quality protein – minerals – vitamins – antioxidants
Natural food is optimal for a healthy intestinal flora. The largest immune-active organ of the body contains many immune cell types, which strengthen the body's own defenses through the best possible supply of nutrients. Harmful substances, such as pesticides or even too many medications, on the other hand, have a negative effect on the immune system.