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Feeding and Urticaria or Hives in horses

What is Urticaria or Hives in horses

Hives, also called Urticaria, are small lumps that appear on skin as a result of an allergic reaction to a change id diet, and insect bite, or reaction to chemicals such as shampoos, insect sprays. As hives are the result of an allergic reaction it is sometimes very hard to isolate the cause and then eliminate it.

A serious case of hives on a horse (source: HorseandHound.CO.UK)

How do I know my horse has Urticaria or Hives

Some horses will display no symptoms, some will have sudden onset and disappearance of hives, whilst in severe cases, there can be swelling over most of the body.

What causes Urticaria or Hives in horses

Some vets will prescribe an antihistamine if the horses hives are serious and in other cases they use corticosteriods to reduce the inflammatory response of the horse. The use of steroidal medication has been known to cause digestive upset (ulcers) and in some cases laminitis. The use of Omega 3 in the diet is the natural way to reduce the inflammatory response and as it is an essential fatty acid it does not cause gut problems.

How diet helps Urticaria or Hives in horses

Avoiding rations that are very high in protein is advised as it is the protein content of allergens that causes the onset of hives.

Recommended Stance Horse Feed for Urticaria or Hives in horses

The Stance Equine Feeding system outlines feeds with low sugar and starch. These include