AN ALLERGY IS A REACTION OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM TO A COMMON SUBSTANCE KNOWN AS AN ALLERGEN …
Allergens include foods, pollens from trees, grasses, and flowering plants, moulds, dust, storage mites and insects.
They can enter the body by inhalation, ingestion or absorption through the skin. If your horse is repeatedly exposed to an allergen their immune system may react, often resulting in poor health and loss of performance.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGIES INCLUDE:
• Dermatological signs – rubbing particularly mane and tail, rashes and hair loss
• Respiratory signs – headshaking, chronic cough, laboured breathing, nasal discharge and swollen, watery eyes
• Gastrointestinal signs – weight loss, recurrent bouts of low grade colic and loose droppings
• Behavioural signs – loss of performance and temperamental changes
There are a number of potential causes for your horse’s allergy and your vet will conduct a thorough work-up to identify these.
As part of this work-up, your vet may suggest carrying out a SENSITEST® allergy test. Your vet simply has to take a small sample of blood and send it to us.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR …
PRURITUS – A common dermatological term used to describe the unpleasant sensation that causes the frequent rubbing, itching and biting of the skin.
SUMMER SEASONAL RECURRENT DERMATITIS (SSRD) – Commonly known as ‘sweet itch’, this is hypersensitivity to the saliva of the Culicoides species. Sweet itch tends to be seasonal, from spring to autumn when the midge is present. The desire to itch and rub at the affected site (usually mane and tail) is intense, subsequently causing infection and can be extremely debilitating in severe cases.
URTICARIA – Commonly known as hives, urticaria can follow exposure to a whole range of possible allergens including feed components, pollens and moulds.
RECURRENT AIRWAY OBSTRUCTION (RAO) AND CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE (COPD)
These respiratory diseases are thought to be associated with inhalation of environmental allergens and create an increase in mucus production and inflammation of the airways. These diseases are debilitating and if the condition remains undiagnosed and untreated it can cause irreversible damage to lung tissue.
HEADSHAKING – Allergic headshaking can range from snorting and sneezing to severe shaking of the head. Chronic headshaking can be extremely traumatic and distressing to the horse.
The cost of your test and any treatment may be covered by your pet insurance.
Please check with your vet and insurance company for details.
To find out what your SENSITEST® allergy test results mean click HERE
To discover treatment options click HERE