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Silent Horse Talk 01-29-2011 11:40 AM

Severe Soy Allergy
I have purchased one of my horses two and a half year ago. He was exactly what I was looking for. He was a little pricey, but from owners detailed description, he was exactly what I was looking for. Well that wasn't the case, his feet were in horrible condition. My husband and I felt so sorry for him that we decided to buy him to get him away from there. The owner agreed to let him go at a considerably lower price. My Vet examined him extensively with x-rays and all, and diagnosed him with severe laminitis. It took me and my farrier little over a year to get him back to normal and completely sound, but that is another story. Because of him being laminitic, I slowly put him on grain that is specifically made for horses prone to laminitis. Soy based food. I thought he did very well on it. Looking back now, I developed an opinion that he has sensitive skin, due to the fact that he was very reactive to bugs. This was very subtle, simply he seemed to get bitten more that my other horse. About eight months after being on this food, he started to rub on his stall door, slightly damaging his mane. This went on and off for several months with no other symptoms. One weekend this September, we were gone for the weekend and left the two horses in the pasture. Sunday evening when I brought him in, I was horrified when I discovered, he ripped himself all over from rubbing on trees, to the point that he was bleeding in some places. He was rubbing and biting himself nonstop. I stalled him 24/7 and he would literally rub on the walls or the stall rails, manger, etc. We tried everything for the next couple of weeks. His neck, shoulders and hips were bald & raw. He totally rubbed out his beautiful tail and mane. Suddenly two weeks later, he got sick with a fever of 107.5 and colicking. The fever fluctuated with medication 104 to 107.5 for the next 7 days He did not eat nor drink even a drop during the entire time. He received constant support from my vet and me. He was constantly colicking, severe depression and sometimes I couldn't get him up. We almost lost him, but finally on 8th day his fever dropped and he started drinking. Due to the meds and the whole episode he developed severe ulcers. The vet didn't know the cause of the fever. He performed numerous tests. He suspected some kind of a virus and diagnosed him also with severe insect allergy. He was given gastrogard for the next 8 weeks. It got a little cooler and less bugs and his itching subsided.(I thought) I slowly put him back on the grain and again suddenly about a week later, when I got home from work, he completely ripped himself all over again in the stall and couldn't stand still to eat without rubbing and biting. I almost called the vet back out to put him down. I couldn't watch him suffer anymore. I wrecked my brain for a solution. I did some research and decided to take any and all soy away from his diet. Within 48 hrs he stopped itching and biting. He also became calmer. Now three months later, he is on straight oats and, he still isn't itching at all, his coat is back and gleaming and his tail and mane are growing back. He is a totally different horse. :D I shared this with my friend that put her horses on the soy based food at the same time I did, and one of her horses was rubbing himself also. (Mane, Tail, Shoulders) She took him off the soy and her horse stopped itching also. I came to a conclusion that my horse, over a period of time had developed an allergy to soy and it almost killed him. I am sure that there is a lot of horses out there, having allergy problems due to soy, and they are diagnosed as insect allergies. In my opinion, if the soy isn't removed in time, the horse can develop a severe deadly allergy reaction not unlike my horse. I know that there is a great variety of reasons for horse allergies, but I am hoping that by posting and sharing my story here, it might help some of the horses that are miserable with constant itching, and it could possibly save their

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