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Horse allergy symptoms

Let’s talk allergy symptoms

How to recognise allergy symptoms?

The most common sign of an allergy is itchy skin, This can lead to:

  • Scratching, biting and rubbing
  • Broken hairs and hair loss
  • Red or hard skin bumps
  • Hives (urticaria)
  • Wound formation
  • Thickening of the skin

The usual places for itching are the mane and tail region, and the rump, face, neck, shoulders and legs. Airway problems, laminitis (e.g. foot tenderness) and head tossing are less commonly associated with allergy.

Symptoms may be present for the whole year or only during a particular season, depending on which allergens trigger the reaction. Biting midges and pollen are seasonal, but food allergy is present throughout the year.

Insect-bite hypersensitivity (allergy to insects)

The symptoms of this allergy are seasonal and are seen during the warmer months of the year. Itching, broken hairs and crusts are first noticed on the mane and tail region, which then progress to affect the rump. The face, neck and shoulders may also be involved.

Atopy (allergy to environmental allergens)

Symptoms of atopy present on the face, legs and torso. Horses that are allergic to indoor allergens (e.g. house-dust mites, storage mites, dander and mould) mainly show symptoms when they are stabled.

Seasonal symptoms are caused by outdoor allergens, like pollen. It many cases, horses are allergic to more than one of these allergens.

My horse has allergy symptoms

If your horse shows any of these symptoms, please contact your vet for an allergy check-up. Other diseases can cause similar signs, so your vet will start by excluding all other potential causes, like parasites and infections.

If the symptoms remain after excluding or treating such causes, the next step is to exclude the possibility of a food allergy, then identify which environmental allergens may be responsible.

This involves quick and simple blood test – the NextEQuine Blood Test.

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