Hives, also called urticaria, are raised bumps that appear on your horse. These swellings are often filled with fluid. They can be itchy, but aren’t always. And they commonly appear on the neck, back, belly, flank, and legs.
In some cases, the hives are a one-time occurrence. However, they can also go away and reappear. Your horse may be at risk for a secondary infection if they aren’t treated appropriately.
Treatment of Hives
In order to treat hives, you have to know why they appeared in the first place. You want to eliminate the allergen, if at all possible! It can range from a bug bite or pollen to new grain or shampoo. Try to identify any new situations your horse has been in.
Seasonal allergies can be common in horses. For example, some horses are very sensitive to bug bites. You’d want to use a fly sheet, bug spray, or keep your horse stalled to help with this.
Your veterinary can prescribe a steroid and antihistamines to help bring down the swelling from the hives. Other options include adding MSM and omega 3 fatty acids to their feed. Rinsing their body off with cool water can also assist in relieving itchiness and discomfort. And medicated shampoos can prevent infections.
If the allergen can’t be removed, consider a low dose steroid. Speak with your vet for more information on the effects of this though!
It’s very important you work to resolve the cause of the hives. Both through prevention and treatment you can ensure your horse doesn’t have to suffer from this immune response.
Check out: Top 5 Most Common Feeding Mistakes Made By Horse Owners for more health-related tips.