Flax seed and skin reactions/allergies? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-08-2012, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Flax seed and skin reactions/allergies?

Has anyone had experience with horses reacting negatively to flax seed, milled or whole?
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-16-2012, 03:46 AM
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Saw this one & thought I'd leave it to others. No is my answer, but omega 3s are generally good for skin. My naturopath suggested Omega 6 (evening primrose oil) when I had a contact dermatitis once, but I think horses get well enough omega6....
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-16-2012, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Saw this one & thought I'd leave it to others. No is my answer, but omega 3s are generally good for skin. My naturopath suggested Omega 6 (evening primrose oil) when I had a contact dermatitis once, but I think horses get well enough omega6....
Popping in...evening primrose oil, how is that used? I get a lot of allergic reaction contact dermatitis from things I'm not even allergic to, and it's really annoying (get's really inflamed and bumpy/scaly, itchy to the point where I scratch so bad I get scars). I built up an immunity to calamine...does the oil work really well?

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post #4 of 13 Old 11-16-2012, 04:59 AM
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Hi,

Well it worked for me. I don't know it's track record, except that it's a common treatment apparently. I was taking capsules internally and when it was really bad, breaking one open & rubbing it on my shin where the rash was. Apparently you shouldn't take O3 & 6 together, so I was advised to take fish oil in mornings & EP oil at night.
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-16-2012, 05:21 AM
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Well I know others will strongly disagree with me but yes. Within 36 hours of starting flax oil my horse came up lame. Vet and farrier out and she had a minor bout of laminitis. So I keep flax out of her diet.
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-16-2012, 09:35 AM
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About two months ago, I switched from vegetable oil to ground flax meal, with no negative results. I give 1/3 cup [about 2 oz] 2x a day for a 900 lb horse. Definitely no allergic reactions or lameness; sorry to hear others have had those outcomes.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-16-2012, 01:35 PM
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Most horses are probably fine with flax, but there's certainly going to be horses that don't tolerate it. There's one horse at my barn who's VERY allergic to grass hay; I figure if a horse can be allergic to grass, then a horse could be allergic to anything
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-19-2012, 04:42 PM
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Flaxseeds are great for horses with a lot of great nutritional values.

Milled Flaxseed looses a lot of its nutrition and may also mold or become bad. As the seed its self is moist inside the shell. It can and will mold and go bad in time. But how old is the bad? Its shelf life? The milling process? Shipping time? No thanks!

Whole Flaxseeds basically just pass through and can't be broken down fast enough.

Best results for flaxseeds is when you fresh ground it every feeding. Giving just a half a shot glass to the horse.

I have never had issues with Flaxseeds, they have even helped my friends horse with swollen thyroid glans from allergy's in the spring and fall.

Otherwise I fresh ground my flaxseeds for every horse in my barn.
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-20-2012, 08:07 PM
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I haven't managed to track down the study this webpage refers to, but I've seen plenty of references to the nutrients of whole flax seed being absorbed just fine.

Quote:
The fact is, flax seed CAN be fed as whole seeds. Recent research done on various seeds found that the nutrients were extracted from the seed hulls even if some seeds appeared "whole" in the manure.
Source

FWIW, I feed whole flaxseed to my horse and don't see whole seeds in his manure at all.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-20-2012, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by verona1016 View Post
FWIW, I feed whole flaxseed to my horse and don't see whole seeds in his manure at all.
^^I heard this, that feeding whole flax was OK after all, but asked my nutritionist & she begged to differ. But the above bit I quoted has got to say something about that!

I think it's an important point that you mentioned Verona that if a horse can be allergic to grass, well.... So perhaps the idea came from a rare horse that had a problem with it, from horses that developed probs due to eating rancid or mouldy meal - as Smokum described, they deteriorate very quickly when processed. Or perhaps it was just a coincidence that a horse became lame after being fed flax, so that got the blame.
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