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Hey guys,

I have had my mare for nine years. About seven years ago now, she developed a horrible case of the hives - swelling to the point that I couldn't get her halter on her, itchy, huge, just downright unpleasant. We called the vet out, he treated her, they went away and were never seen again. Fall of 2012, she developed a very different type of hive. These did not cause her entire body to swell, they just appeared literally overnight. Some were almost the size of my hand, others were very small. This time, she was not itchy and other than being quite unsightly, didn't phase her at all. Again, the vet came out, treated her with dexamethasone, and they went away. However, they came back. After coming out two or three times to treat her, our vet gave us prescription pills to give her. About November they disappeared as quickly as they appeared.

This past fall (2013) she developed this same type of hive and she still has them, and not because they are going untreated. The vet knows us well (we've been with him for well over twelve years) and once again gave us the same medication she had last year. We were also told about an herbal supplement - I cannot remember the name at the moment - by another vet at the same office. We knew one horse that had hives more or less from the day he was born and this herbal supplement cleared him right up, so we gave it a shot. While her hives are much smaller, she still has them.

Other than the hives, the vet says she is in fantastic condition, very healthy, sound as she's ever been, still quite content under saddle (he said as long as she's not uncomfortable to go ahead and ride and she behaves no differently than she did before) and so forth. Multiple vets said blood work would be expensive and essentially be useless - it would tell us, yes, she has an allergy, but it may or, more likely, may not tell us what was causing the allergies.

I'm not sure if this is noteworthy or not, but with absolutely zero changes in treatments, feed, bedding, etc. she will go from a fairly significant case of hives to just a few teeny, tiny hives in the case of a few days, and they will flare up again just as quickly. I have attached an image of her in just a couple days time - left image is first while the right image is a few days later.

I should also mention that in these time periods the bedding did not change, and to our knowledge (unless something changed at the plant), neither did her grain. There was a new hay supplier fall of 2012 for a brief period of time, but her hives well outlived the new hay (beyond 4 weeks).

Has anyone else had similar issues? Have you found something that worked for your horse?
 

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subcutaneous worms

Hey There,
I saw your post and was wondering if your vet checked her for subcutaneous worms? My gelding had them and they would range from regular old hives that didn't bother him, but that wouldn't go away, to all out crazy open sores all over his body(this happened twice). I totally thought it was an allergy possibly a poisonous plant or something, but it turned out he had subcutaneous worms. Basically we did Ivermectin two weeks in a row and then once a month for 3 months. That pretty much took care of them, he did have a relapse two years later, so I put him on a daily dewormer and after a year switched him back to a regular wormer rotation and he hasn't had any problems since. The vet said most horses have them in their systems and never have a problem, but the for whatever reason some horses start having reactions to them which is what happened to my guy. My horse was also the same age as yours when this was going on, not sure if there's a connection though. Anyway it might be something to look into. :)
 
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