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Horse Allergy Symptoms and Treatment
Can Horses Have Allergies?
Allergies are not a condition unique to humans, like some people might believe.
There many animals that can manifest allergic reactions, one of them being horses.
Equine allergies, despite not being usually immediately dangerous to the animal (though it can be the case in rarely), can cause a wide array of problems, that either torments it or can potentially harm its immune system and thus render the animal more susceptible to various other diseases.
Horse Allergy Causes
The allergic reactions in horses can be triggered by a wide variety of causes and they only get worse if the animal is not properly cared.
Some of the most common causes of equine allergy are insect bites, poor quality of food and general lack of a complete diet, lack of hygiene in its stable and lack of proper exercise.
Each of these reasons or a combination of the above can lead to allergies that will torment the animal potentially for its entire lifetime.
Symptoms of Horse Allergies
1. Horse Coughing
The most common symptoms of horse allergic reaction are quite similar to the human ones, the most common being a frequent and chronic cough that persists and indicates that there might be allergens that the horse breathes in.
This can be caused by a wide variety of factors, but usually it is caused by the dust in the stable if it is not properly cleaned and/or by its food.
2. Skin Allergies in Horses
It is also possible that a horse will develop skin rashes as an allergic symptom and they are predominately caused by insect bites and they manifest mostly around the shoulder area of the horse.
3. Anaphylactic Shock Reaction
The most severe allergy cases, albeit rare, include Anaphylactic shock reaction, which can be dangerous even for the life of the animal.
These cases, though are not easy to happen because usually are triggered by the horse being continuously in contact with an allergen and almost any owner would notice beforehand that there is something strange going on with the horse.
Should such an extreme case occur, then it is advised that cortisone and adrenaline should be administered to the animal in order to control the potentially dangerous shock.
Horse Allergy Cure
There are many preventive methods to utilize in order to minimize the chance that your horse will suffer from any of the above symptoms.
1. Horse Excercises
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First of all, horses need to be exercised, as these animals are natural runners and enjoy long walks.
This is not only important for the horse psychologically, but it is also essential for the development of its immune system, as frequent exercise (not exhausting of course) can ensure a horse with a well functioning immune system.
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2. Horse Food
A second very important precaution is to ensure that your horse receives a balanced and nutritious diet.
In cooperation with your veterinarian, be sure that the food that you are offering to the animal is of high-quality and thus enhance its immune system against potential allergies.
3. Cleaning the Horse Stables
Lastly, remember that the horse needs to be kept in a stable that is clean, as a dirty stable, creates a very hostile environment which is teeming with dust, parasites, mold and bacteria.
The last important part of this article is the case of horse allergy treatment.
If you notice that your animal has any of the symptoms mentioned above, make sure that you contact your veterinarian as soon as possible in order to have help in pinpointing the cause of the problem.
Sometimes treatment can be as simple as changing the diet of the horse or keeping its stable cleaner but sometimes symptoms persist.
In that case it is a good choice to start a lengthy process called immunotherapy, a therapy which, despite lasting for a long time (up to a few years) it can make your horse totally immune to the allergens and it has a good chance of success.
Hopefully this article will be helpful for horse owners, so that they can keep their horses healthy and totally free of allergies that can range from a simple nuisance to a potential life-threatening episode.
Remember to always work closely with your veterinarian, who can help you pinpoint and cure the potential allergy through his/her deeper scientific knowledge.
Horse Allergy Symptoms and Treatment