Problems with hives, bites etc - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 07-06-2010, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Problems with hives, bites etc

A month or so ago we got back from a barrel race where i had left one of my horses at home, and came to find him covered on each side of his barrel in hives. They were swollen hives, and of course i went into panic mode. Thankfully - a friend of mine is a vet tech, and told me to bathe him in iodine duluted water. which i did for the next few days. We also immediatly went and bought a new flysheet with a neck cover on it, and a fly mask. We then were at a show the next weekend, and his hives had gone down but not completely. I was bridling him and my hand went under his jaw to feel three swollen glands, also the one near his throat seemed bigger so i panicked, and i didnt know what that mean. He also had one on his side that was tender to the touch. A traineer at the show said dont worry i dont think its anything... after several people freaked out because they thought he had strangles.

We had the vet out next morning, and they said its not strangles he has a hypersensitivity to insect bites and told us to bute him to get some swelling down. They called the next day and said he was also slightly anemic, so we started him on Red Cell. So after going through on this stuff he was fine, i took him off the red cell a few weeks ago. However, since the first time his glands had swelled up under his chin, you can see feel them. they are way bigger than they are normally.. doesnt seem to bother him. and he also has broken out in hives once again. (accidently left flysheet off for a day).

So my question is, Could there be an underlying reason this happens? I have had this horse since 07 and he has never reacted until now. I ordered him garlic bug off supplement, and also am considering getting him fly boots. Any input greatly appreciated! He is also on Healthy coat, and plantinum performance.
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post #2 of 2 Old 07-06-2010, 09:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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First, pick up the latest issue of Equus magazine. There's a very good article on just this issue.

My horse occasionally breaks out in hives that do not appear to bother him. His are easily treated by breaking 10 Benadryl caplets into his food for one or two feedings until they're gone.

Your horse sounds different in that it may or may not affect his breathing. While I'm not a vet, I really don't see how Bute can help this situation. An antihistamine makes much more sense to me. If they do itch him, any human cream that treats poison ivy, bug itches and such will help alleviate the itching. A nice cold sponging of the hives seems to take away the itch, albeit temporarily.

It sounds like your horse is either coming in contact with something he's allergic to, or it's just the bug bites themselves. The fly sheet should help with direct contact and the garlic supplement will help keep the bugs from biting. There's also this stuff called Equispot that seems to work. You put it on every 2 weeks or so. Also, the Equus article mentioned any fly spray with 2% pymethrin will keep the bugs from biting, but apparently it's hard to find products with that much.

I'd personally load up an Benadryl caplets and take on a case to case basis. Most horses will have a breakout and then go days or weeks before another one.

Well, I'm babbling now, so good luck!

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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