Managing allergies requires daily actions to help strengthen the airways, make breathing easier, and reduce exposure to known allergens.
The first line of treatment in most allergic conditions is to eliminate the cause or avoid contact with the allergen. Majority of allergies are not life-threatening and the key to keeping your horse comfortable is figuring out the cause and avoiding it. By limiting the number of allergens your horse is exposed to you can improve your horse’s allergy symptoms or possibly prevent future allergy flair-ups.
Horses that become extremely irritated from insects may be suffering from hypersensitivity to the saliva from the insect bites, such as sweet itch. Using a feed-through fly product to help repel insects and prevent fly larvae from hatching in the manure can help decrease the overall fly population. Other steps like applying repellents and/or insecticides, adjusting turn out schedule to when flies are less active, providing fans, and using fly proof garments are also helpful measures.
Dust and horses seem to go together. Watering barn alleys, increasing turn out time, wetting hay and providing well ventilated clean stalls are simple steps to eliminating dust. Be aware of the dust in warm-up areas, if it is excessive try to find a less dusty area to warm up. Mold can be hiding in your trailer, barn, and possibly hay. Deep cleanings in your trailer, stalls, and barn can help eliminate mold.
Spring can be hard on horses with allergies as the pollen begins floating in the air and the weeds popping up in fields after each rainfall. If your horse’s allergies seem to be seasonal you will need to reduce weeds in the fields and plan to stall your horse with a fan during peak pollen season.
If you have recognized your horse to be more sensitive, be aware to select products that avoid use of the specific allergen or try to select hypoallergenic products or those formulated for horses with sensitive skin. Dermatitis in areas where tack is placed may be signs your horse is allergic to the material used in your pad or boots. Try switching to a pad or boots made out of a different material. As a preventative measure, make it practice to try any new product only on a small portion of the horse’s body first to monitor any reactions.
Feeding a balanced diet with specific ingredients that promote healthy immune response and respiratory function can help keep the horse’s body prepared against allergens and seasonal outbreaks.
Ingredients that may Lend Support
Horses challenged with allergies may benefit from the addition of ingredients such as MSM, Spirulina, Citrus Bioflavonoids, N- Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC), Vitamins C, A and K to support a natural inflammatory response, respiratory health and immune function.
MSM: (Methylsulfonylmethane) Assists body to produce its own internal antioxidants which helps support natural inflammatory response by providing protection against oxidative stress.
Spirulina: A powerful antioxidant that helps support the immune system and plays a significant role in supporting a natural inflammatory response. Has been shown to help support concerns associated with inflammation of the nasal passage triggered by allergens.
Citrus Bioflavonoids: Heseperidin, rutin, naringin, quercetin, all bioflavanoids important for soft tissue health and maintaining normal blood pressure, which aids in overall lung health. Helps support immune system health and capillary strength.
N-Acetyl L-Cysteine: NAC helps replenish glutathione levels, supporting a healthy inflammatory response in lung and bronchial tissue.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is an antioxidant that plays a role in helping combat harmful free radicals. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the tissues of the body.
Vitamin K: supports vascular health, healthy bones, cognitive function, immune system and respiratory health.