Equine Allergies

A Multi Dog Home Reading Equine Allergies 3 minutes Next Managing Hard Ground

Allergies are somewhat of a hot topic in the human and horse world. Just like people, horses can suffer from allergies, which can begin at any time during our equine’s lifetime. An allergy itself describes an irregular reaction to a normally harmless substance where the immune system has become over-sensitised. Whether horse or human, the body’s reaction involves the release of histamine and prostaglandins which cause inflammation.

Allergies present with either respiratory or dermatological symptoms. Horses experiencing respiratory symptoms may cough, sneeze or wheeze and the most common dermatological presentation would be an itchy rash or raised lumps; known as hives.

If your horse or pony develops an allergy it is important to respond to their display of symptoms promptly in order to keep them comfortable. A veterinarian will be able to prescribe a recommended dose of antihistamine and in some cases the use of corticosteroids but the critical factor will be determining the trigger of the allergic response and responding accordingly!

Scientific Nutritional Products takes a look at common three allergy triggers…

  • Dust is an unfortunate, but common cause of an allergic response. If you find your horse is allergic taking measures such as selecting a low dust bedding, soaking hay and maximising turn out time can be helpful.


  •  The increased crop planting this year due to the war in Ukraine has seen pollen allergens Airborne allergens caused by tree and crop pollen typically affect the skin. If your equine has seasonal pollen allergies, it can be wise to keep them stabled during the higher pollen count or, though not always practical, select a yard which is based further away from triggering planting.


  • Insect bite hypersensitivity is an allergic skin disease caused by biting insects such as midges, black flies or horseflies. Clinical signs include itching, scaling of the skin, hives and hair loss. Bites are commonly found on the mane, tail and across the trunk; with the location varying dependent on the insect. The treatment relies primarily on the reduction of exposure by using fly rugs and masks and insect repellents and though corticosteroids can reduce symptoms, antihistamine has not been shown to be particularly effective. Omega-3 fatty acids found in supplements such as Horse and Pony Supplement from Scientific Nutritional Products can aid in reducing skin inflammation.


Other allergens can include things such as mould and mildew,  some food products and mites. The key to good management is as ever; a close eye on your four-legged friend!

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