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Susan K. Mangus
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Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Sunday, Jul 2, 2006 - 8:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Can any one help? The beginning of June 2006 our 4 YO QH stallion started getting bumps/hives - which coincided with night time turn out. We did nothing at first thinking it was mosquito bites and would go away on their own. By June 10th they were the size from pin head to silver dollars and all over his body -we tried Trihist which after 2 days did nothing. By 4 days later the bumps had become huge - our home vet had seen nothing like it so we gave the colt 5 cc Dex. Bumps disappeared. 2 days later bumps back. Another 5 cc Dex with a follow up shot of 5 cc 24 hours later. Bumps disappeared. 2 and a hlaf days later bumps back. Tried 5 days of Dex in decreasing doses. Bumps disappeared. 2 days later bumps back. Vet pulled blood for allergy testing and mailed it out. In the meantime we have tried 3 different beddings - no effect. We stripped and disinfected the stall. We stopped fly spray altogether. Shampooed the colt with Betadine. No effect. Blood results came back and showed some "positives" but in the very low range of positive but no spikes. We are having serum for allergy shots made up as this can not continue, altho I know in this case with no spikesit may not help 100%. We tried holding off on the Dex shots but the bumps were all over and huge, his face swelled up so it started to ooze a clear sticky serum. Absolutely nothing in his envirnment has changed - same feed as always and we are still feeding the last of last year's hay which is NOT dusty or moldy. Another local vet equine specialist (far western Kentucky) told me this has been one of the worse years in a long time for horse allergies. I have read on this website about the Micro-tek shampoo and the spirulina supplement, both of which I have ordered, altho I feel like someone going to Mexico for "alternative" cancer treatments !!
We had stopped the anit-histimes Trihist but are now giving it to him on the outside chance it may be helping a bit, also started giving the colt a daily dose of horse aspirin when he blew the big reactions, as I am worried about laminitis, and aspirin was the one easy thing we did with a foundered horse a few years ago - as a blood thinner. Since the blood tests came back we are loading the colt with the regular fly spray (always used in the past) when we turn him out in the AM (for only about 2 hours to stretch his legs), washing him with Vetrolin until the Micro-tek arrives, using a fly mask.
We are at our wits end here... and feel we are damned if we do and damned if we don't - if we don't use the Dex the massive histimine release may kill him, and continuing for too long with the Dex may do harm in itself.
Thanks for any thoughts.
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ilona armoni
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Username: Ilona

Post Number: 172
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Sunday, Jul 2, 2006 - 9:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm sure Dr. O will have some helpful information.

An alternative to fly spray:
Almond oil with citronella, peppermint, and eucalyptus oils/concentrate added. It works very well and I don't have to worry about fumes or anything else hurting eyes, nostrils or ears. I put it in my hand and simply wipe it on. We both benefit from the oils and I too don't get bothered by bugs. I've always been concerned about abreactions to fly sprays. Avon's Skin So Soft with citronella also works very well. A friend of mine became an Avon rep just for this purpose as the savings were considerable.
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Charlayne Penrose
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Username: Image

Post Number: 11
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, Jul 2, 2006 - 9:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Susan,

I live in Florida and we once had this happen with one of our Quarter mares. We found it was something the locals called Stinging Nettle that grows down here in the spring and summer. There was a big write up of it in our local horse paper that I am hoping I still have and am looking for it. It is a low growing weed that can really take over. God forbid they eat it but if they roll in it (as my mare did) the results sound very much like what you have there. Have you noticed if he acts like he is being burned or running/bucking more than usual in the pasture? (it is an itching, burning sensation that bothers anything that gets into it including us) It is really hard to wash off as it is an oil type base. We used Adoph's meat tenderizer and rubbed it on per advice from other horse people. (since you suspect allergies, try it on one or two of the hives first.) Then we went a dug up every suspicious weed in the pasture. (quite a job, let me tell you...there was quite a bit of it by the time we figured out what it was) The plant grows about 3" tall, has slightly jagged edges on it's green leaf that is oak shaped and only about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. The leaves are also kind of shiny looking. (I know it sounds like every other weed, sorry, it's the best I can do 'cause that's what it looks like.)

Again, I am in Florida and I see you are in Kentucky. I don't know if it grows up there but you might check into it. I know it's tough with a young stallion, but try not to turn him out until you determine if the weed is a possibility. Or maybe even an insect of some kind. We had to hand-walk and longe our mare a lot till we got rid of the problem.

Best of luck to you and your stallion! I hope and pray everything turns out well very soon.

Charlayne
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Charlayne Penrose
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Username: Image

Post Number: 12
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, Jul 2, 2006 - 9:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Susan,

Go onto the search engine of your puter and type in Stinging Nettle Florida. You will find several sites with some good pics of this weed. Sorry, I should have thought of it before...not enough coffee yet.

Charlayne
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Susan K. Mangus
New Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 2
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Sunday, Jul 2, 2006 - 10:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the advice! re: Stinging nettles - we will certainly take a look, when I "googled" the topic I found a great photo to compare...altho I must say my husband keeps the colt's 3/4 acre paddock mowed like a golf course - but we will take a look.
We have tried giving the colt only 2.5 ccDex - that dosage worked the other day but this next time it has not. Our goal was to get the lowest dose to last 48 hours - we know 5 cc will but are trying lower doses now.
Also I should have mentioned before - we only moved here from New York State in 11/04 - and I know allergies are common within the first 2 years of any move to a new location...but the colt has been here now 1.5 years and it seems he should have reacted before this unless he has been slowly accumulating and then something pushed him over the edge.
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joj
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Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 751
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, Jul 2, 2006 - 1:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I too live in Florida. and i am seeing weeds and problems crop up i haven't seen before. i attribute it to the weather. Certain weeds and allergies that i haven't had in years are popping up all over the place. i have lived on the property for 3 years now, and just this past april for the first time a new nightshade popped up. Never saw it before. I'm sure its like that in other places. Weather changes patterns and growth. I know the NE is getting extremely wet weather right now. More so than usual. And not sure where you are, but anomolous weather can add to the assault.

You mentioned hay, is it possible something is in the bales. Not all of them but some. and what about the water? I also get bit periodically by one particular bug (still not sure what it looks like its so evasive) but i blow up like a balloon. Could be true for the horse too. And i know that the sap was sitting on my mares neck for a few days, i forgot to wash it off. when i finally went to do it there was an oozing welt under there. So its possible your horse has rubbed up against a particular tree. Allergies are a weird thing. Lowered immune systems can bring on all sorts of things you were never allergic to in the past. Maybe he is stressed? making this worse? Take away the stress (got to find it first) and the the allergy might disappear?
just some thoughts...
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Susan K. Mangus
New Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 3
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Sunday, Jul 2, 2006 - 4:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the ideas "joj" - we are in far western Kentucky, have been for the past year and a half. The weather has had no significant changes here, if anything a bit dry, hotter than we had in New York State but bearable and the colt is inside most of the time now - we have a large 6 stall barn and right now there are 13 fans going between ceiling, floor and on the front of stalls...fans are on 24/7. Have contacted the farmer we get the hay from to see if he sprays it with anything, altho the colt has been eating it since last July 2005 with no troubles until this June. re: stress - he is just hanging out, eating, pooping, and talking to his mares.... a life anyman would envy
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 16034
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jul 2, 2006 - 9:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Welcome Susan,
First some bad news, until the source of the allergen is found a real cure cannot be had. There are no blood tests worth a salt for identifying the cause and even provocative skin testing in horses is very iffy with many false positives and false negatives. Trihist (pyrilamine) is also pretty well established as a waste of time and money as a antihistamine for horses.

Let me correct one misconception and that is exposure to new things causes allergic reactions. It is through past or chronic exposure that you become allergic to something. A common cause of hives in horses is the sprays we have been putting on them for some time. For effective control of biting flies see, Care for Horses » Management & Procedures » Controlling Houseflies and Biting Flies.

Now for the good news. There are techniques for the safe administration of corticosteroids in horses and there are effective antihistamine for horses. But all this information is in the article on hives that is associated with this discussion or the links provided in the article. I have never known a horse that died of hives or the treatment for them though the very, very, rare horse does have problems with them over a period eventually they all get well. If after studying the article and the recommended treatments you still have questions post them here.
DrO
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Susan K. Mangus
New Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 4
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Monday, Jul 3, 2006 - 7:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr. Oglesby,

Thank you for the information - I have looked at the links suggested re: steroids and treatments. You say to start a loading dose of Dex at .06 mg / lb - does this mean 60 mg (or cc) for a 1000 pound horse? The bottle recommends a horse dosage as 2.5 - 5 mg (cc) so we are a little confused as 60 cc is so much higher.. Is the Prednisolone dose then 500 mg / 1000 pound horse?
We know from past experience that 5 cc of Dex will knock back the bumps for about 48 hours... 2.5 cc about 30 - 36 hours. This AM we tried 4 cc. We were on the right track to get a low dose for 48 hours (ADT).
Our home vet office has ordered the hyposensitivity serum for shots based on the allergy tests.... is this going to be a total waste of time or might there be some benefit (the serum should be here in about 10 days). ? Having had allergy shots myself, even as an adult, I know they worked for me.
I know you say horses do not die from hives - but when our colt swelled up with bumps in a bad attack, especially his head and neck, so that you could not see his jowl and his swollen muzzle started oozing a clear sticky serum - we panicked. I have taken the liberty of sending via email a photo taken of our colt on June 20th (NOT the attack when his faced swelled up).
I will try to get the prednisolone as soon as possible - unfotunately this being July 3rd, it may have to wait until after the holiday.
re: fly sprays - we have found over the past years that spraying the horses with full strength apple cider vinegar works as well as some sprays, so are using that on the colt for his little AM turn-outs. Will try to avoid spraying his stall with anything commercial.
I can not begin to thank you all for this help .. we are 29 year AQHA breeders and never have had this experience before.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 16041
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Jul 3, 2006 - 8:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Let's avoid talking cc's as the product can be found at a number of concentrations so the cc's will differ depending on the concentration. If you are using a 1mg per cc concentration that would be odd for large animal practice, it comes in a commonly available 4 mg/ml so double check your concentration. Just continue to use your dex at a dose that keeps your hives controlled until you can get hold of the prednisolone.

That is the loading dose we recommend but typically this is being done for a more difficult problem, Sweet Itch. But as the article goes on to explain you should always work to the lowest effective dose. So load with your current working dose and I also think you will probably be able to use a lower dose of prednisolone considering your history so start with half that much and then as the article details work to the lowest dose that controls the symptoms.

Yes allergy shots do have a good chance of working in people but requires a good diagnosis of the cause, something achievable through provocative testing. However in horses this test has not dependable identified the allergen so the treatment is touch and go. We are not sure if the test allergens are just not purified well enough or if there are important differences in the way the immune system of the horse works. On the other hand horses that go through these episodes almost always resolve spontaneously, with the exception of those developing autoimmune skin diseases.

Apple cider vinegar is a very strong organic (acetic) acid, I really suggest you quit spraying it on the skin, especially full strength. In general pyrethrins would be safer and until you figure this out, nothing is best. You could use a fly sheet while he is out to protect him from flies or turn out at night. The sun is likely to be directly irritating to inflammed skin.
DrO
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Susan K. Mangus
New Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 5
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Monday, Jul 3, 2006 - 9:49 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr.Oglesby,

I checked our Dex bottle - it is 2 mg Dex / mL....my apologies, I should have seen that before.
As per your advice - nix on the apple cider vinegar. Also since we obviously are doing something wrong with our attempts at maintenance, we are going to totally change the colt's environment by moving him to our auxiliary barn (new stall) and putting him in a different paddock for his AM turnout - which is from 5:00 AM to about 8:00 AM so I don't think the sun will be too much of an irritant... and trying just crimped oats for feed.
We do notice when he is in the middle of a "good" reaction with lots of bumps, he seems to have trouble urinating. No problems when the Dex kicks in and the bumps disappear.
And lastly - will continuing with the Dex have an effect on his fertility ? He is a breeding colt.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 16043
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 4, 2006 - 7:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

That is a super idea to try some testing of your own by removing him from the environment causing the problems and no, the dex will not effect his fertility. For information on corticosteroids in general and dex in particular see Treatments and Medications for Horses » Anti-inflammatories (NSAID's, Steroids, Arthritis Rx).
DrO
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 6
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 4, 2006 - 3:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Friends, I have read Dr. O's excellent articles on this site regarding fly control - and I have one additional option to add. If you have a pond near your barn - buy some GAMBUSIA FISH aka Mosquito Fish. These can be ordered thru several pet supply companies - we used Foster & Smith (Smith & Foster ??). These fish eat ONLY mosquito larvae in your pond. They will live (ie: over-winter) as far north as central Illinois. We ordered 50 last year and now have a real strong breeding population - they are about as big as guppies and seem to multiply as fast. We also put up a Purple Martin house last year right by our pond (which is only about a quarter acre big) -it was "investigated" by the birds at the end of the season in 2005 and this year we have a nesting population there also - and intend to put up another house this summer at the south corner of the pond. We have, by choice, a light airy barn - but that will also be more inviting for flies - it is a trade off. We have 13 fans going - and do hang those old fashioned fly strips. Not beautiful to look at but extremely effective. We are considering the Wasp Predators also.
I highly recommend those Gambusia Fish - they do work !!
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Katrina
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Username: Kthorse

Post Number: 485
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 4, 2006 - 6:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi I have no idea if this applys to your situation, but a horse at our barn gets a severe reaction to insect bites she gets a allergic reaction. Last year she had rubbed herself raw. she has no mane left and all she did was rub and scratch she was covered in hives. Our vet prescribed prednisone at the beginning of the season. It has helped tremendously. She still has her hair this year. Apparently our vet said it works best if you start it at the beginning of insect season. Dr O would best be able to answer if this helps your situation, but it really helped this horse. I also read an article in one of the horse magazines about an allergic reaction. I was not sure what insects I think it was mites but I could be wrong. They also recommended the same treatment. Dr O ?
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 7
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 5, 2006 - 7:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Katrina, Dr. O has a great article on this website about using Alternative Day Therapy for hives (NOT Hivbes as I wrote in the title!) AND using Prednosolone. We are getting ready to try it here. At least with our poor horse he has NOT ever itched - a little silver lining to the dark cloud...because with the bumps he has he would have rubbed his whole body raw !! In fact he has shown almost no discomfort at all, except that awful day June 26th when his whole head swelled along with the whole body bumps the size of welts...all of which disappeared with 5 cc of Dex. but only gone for about 48hours.
Dr. O - FYI - so far the change of environment/feed has produced NO difference - we will keep trying for another few days.
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Linda S.
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Username: Banthony

Post Number: 77
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 5, 2006 - 11:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O,
When my horse had a severe reaction to red ant bites (washed off a tree onto him during a thunder storm), my vet gave him an injection of Recovr.

I realize this isn't a solution to re-appearing
hives, but would it be appropriate for a severe reaction like face swelling?

Susan,
I've used TriHist many times for hives and have never seen any difference. Frustrating. Maybe its better for coughs.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16056
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 5, 2006 - 12:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Susan,
Be sure to give him a good shampoo with baby shampoos and a thorough rinse Susan, just in case there is something on the skin that he took with him to the new digs. If after several days more you still have problems think about what is common to both locations.

Excellent idea on the little fish, but I thought it was in the article I will review it and if not I will certainly put it in there.

Linda, what was in the shot of Recover? Is this one of the immunostimulants(?), if so I would say it is contraindicated as the hives indicate a already over stimulated immune system.
DrO
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 8
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 5, 2006 - 1:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr. O - Monday afternoon, about 3 hours after moving the colt to his new "digs" UPS brought my order of Micro-Tek medicated shampoo and we gave him a real good sudsing and rinse. We have already tried to think about the commonalities of both locations: a) the air that he breathes (pollen ??) b) water - town water and I called and checked and they have not added anything new to the water in the last month c) the hay - but it is the same hay he has been eating for the past 10 months - and the farmer assures me he does NOT spray anything on the hay before baling d) bugs - we have been spraying him with a pyrethrin spray before his AM turnout and then cold water hosing to rinse when he comes in e) the shavings in the stall - but we already tried 3 different beddings with no difference so don't think it is that. Not much else we can think of here. We even changed his feed and water buckets.
Regarding the fish - yes indeed your article mentions fish but I thought I would throw out the actual name and supplier which is for sure the Doctors Foster & Smith company - their new catalog just came today: DrsFosterSmith.com 800-443-1160
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Linda S.
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Username: Banthony

Post Number: 78
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 5, 2006 - 5:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O,
I misspelled the drug - it is:
Re-Covr® (Rx) (Tripelennamine hydrochloride injection)antihistaminic therapy for use in cattle and horses.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16062
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jul 6, 2006 - 11:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Linda,
Tripelennamine has been found to be one of the less effective antihistamines available, see the article on hives for more on this. If it does not work for you consider the recommendations in the article on hives. Also you cannot rule out something that the horse has been exposed to in the past without reaction, allergies develop through exposure.
DrO
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Linda S.
Member
Username: Banthony

Post Number: 80
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Jul 6, 2006 - 11:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It did help with the ant bites, but it wasn't miraculous. Because of a founder problem, I couldn't use a steroid with it which would have probably helped a lot.
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 9
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Thursday, Jul 6, 2006 - 12:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr. O - We had the nearby equine specialist come out and see our colt today. He has started the colt on the "pred" pills and he already uses a system similar to your ADT so we are good to go on that... and has also given us the hydroxyzine (sp?) as an antihistimine which you also recommend in your article. The colt has showed no changes in the new "digs" so we have moved him back to the main barn where he is much more comfortable (he can see his girls) - this vet feels confident that it is bug bites that tipped him over the edge. He also has had moderate success with the allergy shots - enough so that we are going to give it a try when the serum arrives. He says this is just a blip in the road, atho when he saw the photos of our colt in full bump condition he could see why we were so very alarmed.
We will see how things go now, but everything seems on track with what you recommend too. Thanks !
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16071
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Jul 7, 2006 - 9:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I love competent veterinary practice, or at least that which agrees with me

I suspect your horse is on his way to wellness Susan. I am interested in dosages, frequency, and response.
DrO
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 10
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Sunday, Jul 9, 2006 - 7:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr. O - our colt has been on 400 mg pred pills plus the hydroxyzine daily now for 2 days and we see no difference hardly at all - we had to give him another Dex shot last night and this AM the bumps are greatly reduced altho not disappeared. Seeing as the vet is out of town for his anniversary until Wednesday - can I ask - is it possible for these hives to be caused by something OTHER than an allergy? Would doing a blood panel workup be of any help?}
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16088
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jul 9, 2006 - 5:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Susan did you use prednisone or prednisolone, (this is important)? Other causes could be insect bites / stings, autoimmune diseases, and early skin infections like rainrot. However the pred is the same type drug as the dex but is 1/20th as potent (on a mg per mg basis) and lasts 1/4 as long. Now that they are gone continue the pred daily to see if they return. If they do you may need to increase the dose.
DrO
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 11
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Sunday, Jul 9, 2006 - 9:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr. O - we are using the prednisone, this new vet says that PREDNISONE is changed in the liver to the PREDNISOLONE, which I have also read happens.... this is tough when you get conflicting information from different vets (altho I have been thru this with human doctors too). So far at 26 hours out from the last Dex shot he is still pretty good - we will see tomorrow. We have slightly increased the Hydroxyzine from starting dose of 12 to 16/day as per vet instructions (with no more than 24 pills in any 24 hour period).
Thanks !
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 16096
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Jul 10, 2006 - 8:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

He is incorrect and now we have an explanation for the lack of efficacy Susan. Experiments done by Dr Robinson at Michigan State several years ago show the horse does not convert prednisone like other species do Equine Vet J 2002 May;34(3):283-7; Prednisone per os is likely to have limited efficacy in horses.; Peroni DL, Stanley S, Kollias-Baker C, Robinson NE.;Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824, USA. For more on this see, Treatments and Medications for Horses » Anti-inflammatories (NSAID's, Steroids, Arthritis Rx) » Prednisone, Prednisolone, Methylpred.
DrO
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 12
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, Jul 14, 2006 - 8:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr. O - we ran this by the vet - he agrees that prednisolone might work, but he suggested that since we/the colt are having such a good response with the "very low doses" - his words - of Dex, to continue with that while we are doing the allergy shots, and also continue the hydroxyzine. His thought was rather than start something new to go with what we know is working. We are trying the Dex orally and see how it goes - we can always try the prednisolone down the road (as a reserve option). This vet says the doses of Dex are so low (between 5 and 3 cc - 2 mg/ml -every other day) it will never hurt him over the long term. He also feels that it is fly bites that have kicked the colt's system into overdrive and once the flies go in the fall, the allergy shots hopefully kick in, and we cool down his reactions, that we should be OK. I guess we just have to try and see what happens... at least this vet is open to clients suggestions without getting "prickly", and agrees that sometimes "alternative medicine" therapies actually do work, and he has no trouble with trying the Spirulina herbal stuff etc.
Thanks for your help ... after being 28 year QH breeders we feel like we have been knocked back to kindergarten -never had a reaction like this before so have nothing to reference... it has been most unsettling.
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 16
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Saturday, Jan 13, 2007 - 4:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

UPDATE ! We got our colt thru August - October 2006 in good form, he stayed bump free on decreasing oral doses of Dex and low doses of hydroxyzine until the end of October when we stopped everything (and held our breath). He continues on monthly allergy shots. Now we wait for this springtime and see what happens - our home vet says this might have been a one time thing, or it may be annual, only time will tell. We have started collecting semen from the colt, and the long term Dex has NOT affected his fertility, and interestingly there was a short article in the QH Journal recently where some university study also found low dose Dex for extended periods of time does seem to hurt fertility in studs.
We are crossing our fingers and in hopes that we will never have to go thru this again !
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 17495
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 - 8:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

That is most excellent Susan. If long term steroid therapy is needed you should attempt it with the alternate day prednisolone as described in the amtinflammatory topic. It should minimize any steroid related problem. What do the monthly allergy shots consist of Susan?
DrO
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: Gsmangus

Post Number: 17
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 - 9:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr. O - FIRST A CORRECTION TO THE ABOVE POSTING - that university study found that low dose DEX for extended periods of time does NOT HURT A STALLION'S FERTILITY....sorry, I was typing fast and left out the key word does"NOT".
Yes we are keeping the prednisolone therapy as a back up for future use should it become necessary... and sincerely hoping it does NOT become necessary.
Allergy shots are a serum for anything and everything for which the colt tested "borderline" or "high". Keep in mind that he had NO spikes, and his "highs" were just barely into the high range. We understand allergy shots for horses are not as effective as for other animals, but it won't hurt so just in case it might help we are going with it.
Thanks again !
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gail Exstrom
New Member
Username: gailexst

Post Number: 1
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Monday, Jan 29, 2007 - 7:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Susan, I read your note about hives on your colt and I am having the same problem with my mare. I live in Northern Calif. and we have had the driest Jan. in history. My poor mare has had out breaks 3 times, even with treatment. Have you had any luck in finding the cause or a fix? gail
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: gsmangus

Post Number: 18
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Monday, Jan 29, 2007 - 8:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Gail,

re: cause? No luck at all even tho we totally changed the colt's environment, everything except the air and the water (and I checked with the local water people to see if they had changed any chemicals - no)... and the air borne insects. Our home vet, an equine specialist, thought the colt had developed some sensitivity when we moved here 2 years ago, and the fly bites put him over the edge.
re: fix - we put him on hydroxyzine, did an allergy panel test and started allergy shots, and daily oral Dex. Over the course of the summer and early fall we gradually decreased the meds until the end of October when we stopped - and held our breaths. The vet thought that when the cold fall weather came and the flies were gone that might take care of it. How knows. All I can say, as above, is that now the colt is fine, but every time I look at him and he has some little bump I panic. We wait for this spring and see how things go - was this a one time deal or a yearly thing is anyone's guess.
If you send me your private email (I am gsmangus@wk.net) I will send you a photo of our colt in "full bump mode" - it is quite spectacular.
Best of Luck - after being AQHA and PHBA breeders for so many years this was the first time we ever went thru this - and it was awful.

Susan K. Mangus
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Administration
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 755
Registered: 12-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007 - 6:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Susan, I am sure the members who have kept up with this discussion would love to see the photo and you can post it here. For more on how this is done see Help & Information » Uploading Images and Files Into a Posting.
DrO
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: gsmangus

Post Number: 21
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Saturday, Oct 13, 2007 - 10:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr. O - thought you might like a yearly update on our colt and his severe hives attack of 2006. We started and continued allergy shots (monthly) thru mid 2006 and now in 2007. We made it thru May, June, and July with NO BUMPS and were so relieved. Then in early August here in western Kentucky we experienced record heat - and some small bumps reappeared. We started 5 cc Dex orally, and continued every 5 days, then every 10 days, and then got to every 12 days when, in early October we again experienced record setting heat and the bumps came back at a shorter interval. It has now cooled off and we are today (10/13/07) 8 days post his last Dex which shows improvement.
Interestingly, our cremello colored 3 YO show mare ALSO started the these tiny bumps (similar in appearance to a small grain of rice) in August and they seemed to be increasing. We gave HER 5 cc Dex this AM as an experiment - if the bumps go away then allergy and if not then maybe she is rubbing on something and ruffling the hair.
I notice that in your Hives article you mention heat as a possible cause - I have said to my husband that I wondered if our colt gets something like "prickly heat rash" in infants when the temperatures are oppressive. All the horses ARE in during the hot days and have multiple fans on their stalls and on the floor/ceiling/roof of their barn which is also completely insulated. Who knows...
At least the hives are easily contained and/or treated this year which is a great relief to us after what we experienced last year.

Susan K. Mangus
Hickory, KY
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: gsmangus

Post Number: 22
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Saturday, Oct 13, 2007 - 10:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Clarification: our colt was completely bump free since October of 2006 - I mentioned May June July specifically in the above posting as that was when he started his reaction last year.

Susan K. Mangus
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Susanne Ryder
Member
Username: sryder11

Post Number: 25
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Saturday, Oct 13, 2007 - 11:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Susan, I have a question for you. I have been battling hives since July as you can read in my posts under Hives & Dex Dosage. When you did the allergy testing was your colt still on his meds? I have been told I can't do allergy testing until my horse has been off Dex for 30 days and off antihistamines for 7 days. Just curious.

Right now my horse is getting hydroxyzine pamoate. I have had to play with the dosage since he is sensitive and it has a mildly sedating affect on him - did your horse react to hydroxyzine in this way at all?

It seems to be helping him though, combined with the decrease in flies we are getting, he is on a very minimal amount of Dex (2 x 4 mg tabs) a couple times a week and it is keeping the mild outbreaks down. But I would also say hot weather seems to have been an aggravating factor also.
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: gsmangus

Post Number: 23
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Saturday, Oct 13, 2007 - 1:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Susanne, No, we did the allergy testing 3 days after giving the colt 5 cc DEX (as a shot). He had a 5 cc Dex shot on 6/12/06 and again on 6/16 and 6/17. No hydroxyzine at that point. Drew blood for the allergy panel on 6/20. We tried the hydroxyzine later on, and yes it did seem to sedate him but just a little. Also FYI: our colt's allergy panel came back, as stated way above here, with some barely positives but nothing spiked. Our vet's recommendation was to have the serum made up for all the positives and "moderates" ....this meant 2 bottles. Whether the shots help or not is anyone's guess but they will not hurt and MAY help. As stated above, we gradually reduced the oral Dex last year both in amount and frequency, and by the end of October stopped altogether and the colt was fine. Being on the Dex from June to the end of October did NOT effect our colt's fertility or anything else - his semen tested OK in December and this spring he settled all his mares. If you send me (gsmangus@wk.net) your email I will send you a photo of our colt in the middle of his severe reaction...our vet said then that the first thing you have to do is STOP the hystamine flood and let the horse's body settle down - then worry about cutting back on the Dex. Our Dex is 2 mg / ml concentration.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19360
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Oct 14, 2007 - 12:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the update Susanne and glad you have found a control. I would like to put a further fine point of the environmental hypotheses. Have you kept a diary of the temperature, humidity, and wind noting the days he breaks out? If so what were the conditions on those days?

Everyone should note that when examined critically intradermal or serum allergy testing in horses has not been very accurate in identifying allergins and often indicates allergies to things the horse is not sensitive to. That is to say it has low sensitivity and low specificity as a diagnostic tool.
DrO
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: gsmangus

Post Number: 24
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Sunday, Oct 14, 2007 - 2:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr. O - Thank you so much for the very quick reply !! I must apologize for our lack of observation regarding specific weather conditions - the only thing we noticed was the hives started in August this year when the temps went consistently over 90 degrees and stayed there for weeks. In general the humidity was about 30% - we do remember that because the "locals" were talking about the higher humidity and we laughed - having come from central NYS where summers of 85-90 degrees and 85-90 % humidity were the "norm" !! Winds come from all directions here depending on high/low pressure systems. We will do better in the future about keeping a diary on weather conditions... it was just strange, after saying a number of times to my husband that there seemed to be a "heat" connection and then to re-read your article which mentions heat as a possible trigger for hives. We wondered if the hives might be a reaction to heat OR something that comes along with the heat - however, seeing as the biting flies did NOT bother him until August I am not sure now it is insect related. We also understand completely that allergy shots and horses is VERY INEXACT, but in the remote possibility it MIGHT help and should not hurt (and was not expensive), we decided to continue thru this year and then stop in January and see what happens in 2008. Trying to leave "no stone unturned" etc. etc. Thanks again for all your help ! I do really appreciate it all.

Susan K. Mangus
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Susan K. Mangus
Member
Username: gsmangus

Post Number: 34
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 - 2:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr. "O" and everyone who has inquired about our stallion and his hives:
Update 12/2/2008. Well folks it has been almost a year now and I thought you all might like an update on our stallion. Since last December 2007 when, after being out in a cool rain all day, his hives disappeared... they did NOT reappear during this past year! We did absolutely nothing different with him in any respect - same stall, same paddock, same feed, same water and air, etc. etc. He did breed somewhat more mares (we use only AI so no contact with mares) but that is it. In mid July we thought possibly he MIGHT be starting some bumps on his neck, the traditional first site for him, so we cold water hosed him morning and night for 2 weeks. This accomplished 2 things: he never did get hives... but he did get a galloping case of rain rot from being wet so often. Oh well.... 2 weeks of treatment and we solved that ! He is happy and bump free, and I have no idea why. Home vet thinks he might have desensitized on his own, who knows! Thanks for all the inquires and good will messages from everyone.

Susan K. Mangus
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21877
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008 - 7:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you so much for the update Susan, I know this post has helped dozens of folks with what is a frequent yet frustrating problem with horses.
DrO
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Ann
Member
Username: dres

Post Number: 2081
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008 - 10:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Susan I battled the hive issue with a mare I have.. I was ready to have her allergy tested, but after reading Dr. O's comments re hives and how most will not his words ' out grow them' with time, I cancelled my appointment.. We had two bad bouts after that... then they just slowly never came back.. ALL THOUGH, I found that there were times in the summer that I could not turn her out in her pasture as there was something out there that irritated her usually after I dragged the poop around.. So I kept her in the foaling paddock /barn while the 'dust' settled for 3 days before I put her back out.. NO MORE HIVES .. on the days I noticed a bump .. COLD hose right away..

On the first day God created horses, on the second day he painted them with spots..
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