Changing foods for a horse with allergies

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Changing foods for a horse with allergies

This is a discussion on Changing foods for a horse with allergies within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • How to manage a horse with alergies
  • Can my horse be allergic to rye

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    05-16-2011, 09:49 AM
Changing foods for a horse with allergies

I just got a new horse yesterday, the old owner had been feeding him Poulin Equi-Pro Performax 12:12 sweet feed. What I have read about it it says that it is for high performance horses. Rebel, my 8.5 year old registered paint is not a high performance horse. He used to barrel race over a year ago, but doesn't and won't be with me anymore. He has allergies and heaves to hay which are mild. I was wondering if anyone could help me to figure out what I should switch him to. He is also a little skinnier than I would like, he hasn't been in a grass paddock for over a year, but is going to be on and of now until he is used to it so I know that that will help with his weight. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated?

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    05-16-2011, 06:20 PM
If you bo't a horse with heaves it might be best to keep him on the lighter side to make breathing easier for him. Has the vet confirmed it as allergies or is this what the seller told you. If it hasn't barrel raced in a year then the heaves likely appeared then. Pelleted feeds reduce dust. You may be restricted to riding at a walk with brief spells of trotting. If a horse has difficulty breathing he will lose weight as his system is working harder.
    05-16-2011, 07:33 PM
Green Broke
True allergies in horses are very very rare. Normaly they are just intollerances.

If your horse genuinely has allergies then you have to isolate exactly what they are allergic to. This is normaly done by scratch testing doe by a vet.

I had one pony who was Allergic to barley and intolerant to wheat. Barley cause him to break out in swelling and oozing lumps all down his neck, even the smallest amount resulted inmassive reactions in under 10 mins. Wheat was an intollerance and made him itchy, similar to sweet itch.

True allergies are extremely difficult to manage and impossible to manage without knowing exactly what is the problem
    05-16-2011, 10:18 PM
Saddlebag-thank you for the information. The old owner told me it was heaves from hay. He still eats hay though and will cough on occasion. He seems to be ok. I just didn't think he needed to be on a sweet feed for high performance horses anymore and that was my main questions. I can handle the allergies/heaves. I can get that under control with AniHist. Thanks for the advice.
    05-16-2011, 10:21 PM
He doesn't have any restrictions when being ridden. He's awesome to ride. His breathing actually can get heavy when riding, but gets better when you keep going it seems.
    05-17-2011, 03:10 AM
Green Broke
Antihistamines should not be your first resort, they should be your last! You need to know what he is allergic to so you can avoid it. I can't advise you on what you can and can't feed because I don't know exactly what he is allergic too.

BTW antihystamines on horses are fairly ineffective, vets tend to resort to steriods instead and with steriods comes HUGE risks like lammi!

Having fought to manage serious allergies in show horse for over 10 years I do know my stuff about allergies and I know that if that horse has realy got allergies then unless you manage it properly you will KILL that horse!
    05-17-2011, 07:24 AM
Faye-I am only doing what his last vet said to do. He has a slight hay allergy. I am not going to kill the horse. Don't judge before you know. I have had horses with allergies before and he is nothing like my thoroughbred was. Giving an antihistamine is not going to kill him nor is giving him hay as long as it is given in small doses rather than what some normal barns give. He's gone this long with it and has been on the antihist for well over 4 years now when allergies season kicks up. Thanks for trying, but I won't be posting about CHANGING HIS FOOD again. I didn't post about his allergies if you read the original post.
    05-17-2011, 07:33 AM
Green Broke
I get the idea that you are a troll.

The OP asked about changing his feed, he has allergies, you can't change a feed without knowing EXACTLY what he is allergic to because you could be giving him something that he is allergic to. Which grass is it that he is allergic to? Which pollens set his allergies off? If you feed him the wrong stuff and he has a real allergy it is a very real possibility of killing him. I've had one horse go into anaphylactic shock from picking up some grains of barely that anouther horse had spilt, I nearly lost him and I have no wish for anyone else to go through that! Heck he reacted badly to most CHAFFS as most of them use barley straw to bulk it out.

I once changed his main feed from allen and page sugar and cereal free mix to spillers intolerance mix, both feeds designed for horses with allergies to barley and most cereals. I only changed because the A&P was incredibly difficult to get hold of, had to be special ordered and often took 6 weeks to come through, the Spillers mix contained traces of wheat and my pony reacetd very very badly.
    05-17-2011, 11:05 AM
I am sorry for the post prior. I just don't want you to think that I am trying to switch him to something he would be allergic too. I know that it is the hay, but it's not anything that causes him distress. I am thinking I may want to switch him from hay to hay cubes or something so it's less dusty. I am going to get my vet out hopefully within the next week to tell me what they think because going on the word of an old owner isn't as reassuring. I will repost when I hear something from my vet. I definitely don't want to make things any worse for him or cause more distress hence the reason I have changed anything.
    05-17-2011, 11:14 AM
Green Broke
Thats what I'm trying to say! If it is they hay then what type of grass is it? Is it Timothy hay, Rye hay, Alfalfa? Is it the hay itself? The pollen? The dust?

If he is allergic to a type of grass then grass cubes wont make any difference unless you can get grass pellets of a perticular type of grass, if it is the dust then soaking they hay or giving haylege would be a better option.

Feeding a horse with true allergies is very very difficult and masses of factors have to be taken into account. Heck my lad I couldnt even feed supliments without having to find out what they used as a base.

food, paint horse

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