About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holy Hives!

My poor Laz!! He seems to be unable to catch a break! Well, I guess that is not entirely true being he is beating the odds so far with his laminitis.
Yesterday, I went out to see my sweet brown boy. It was warmer than usual, the sun was out, the wind was down and it was a balmy 32 degrees. So, being a 'good' horse owner, I thought, I need to yank off his blanket and really groom him (since I hadn't seen him in 24 hrs) and check him over. As much as I love putting on a warm blanket on his thinner body, I do feel it masks him and I can't fully see him. Laz was a bit off too, yesterday. Quite spooky, spinning and flinchy. Almost like a horse that was smacked around would act. I gently pulled off his blanket and literally gasped!
All over his body were hundreds of HIVES!!!!!!!!! It looked like mosquito bites but obviously not the season. I called the barn owner over and we put our heads together.

-He has had his winter blanket on for about a week, and no hives on Friday.
-He did start a new supplement G.U.T. for his ulcer prevention
-Maybe he's allergic to the scotch guard we sprayed on his winter coat about a month ago but I used the same brand as last year and he had no issue with it. Same winter coat too.

So, we decided not to give him his supplements and to switch him back to his rain sheet until we talked to the Vet this morning. Vet informed us that usually they administer a steroid that will take care of the issue. However, being Lazarus is healing from laminitis, he doesn't want to give him that being he thinks his laminitis may have been caused by what he calls a chemical founder. Too many medicines in his body during his colic, or some combination his body couldn't handle.

So, we have to wait a few days to hope they go away. Poor little man is so uncomfortable and itchy. I didn't want to scratch the hives because I know it'll make it worse for him. I did groom him lightly and if it wasn't cold out, I would hose him down for relief. But in the winter? I just hope he rolls in his cold sand for some relief.

Have any of you experienced hives? Allergic reactions to blankets? Supplements? Those are the only two new variables that I can think of!


  1. I've seen a lot of hives; but never from a blanket or an allergic reaction to a supplement. Most of the ones I have seen are due to stings and bug bites; allergies to certain grasses and plants in the summertime, etc.
    I've had some problems with minor hives with some of my OTTTBs b/c of simple fly bites; especially in the first year off the track. Are you sure there wasn't some kind of mites or insects in the blanket? Something really small you wouldn't notice right off?
    Very weird for you to have this problem in the winter time. Very odd. Hope it goes away and never comes back! :)

  2. Hosanna-
    Hmmm good insight! He is also VERY sensitive to insect bites during summer, he is just sooo thin skinned! I don't think there are any mites/insects being it's been SO cold, I dont know how they could survive, but at this point I wont rule that out! I'm tempted to re wash his blanket (I thought about the detergent I used but I used the same detergent and same spray on the other rain sheet that didnt seem to bother him). Such a mystery!

  3. Look carefully where it is - if it's only under the blanket then it's due to something on the blanket or that you washed it with. If it's elsewhere as well - neck, legs, etc., it's likely to be feed/supplement related. Also it could just be dermatitis from the airless condition under the blanket, but if it looks like hives it probably is. We've had horses get hives from grasses or bedding - where they've laid in something. Good luck and sorry he's itchy!

  4. Well, so far, it's on his right side especially worse..rump, sides and then on his left side on his neck. Nothing on chest, stomach, or legs or face. It's SO odd! I think I may take home his blanket and wash it in just hot water, no soap as a precaution and I took him off his G.U.T. supp and Selenium (which was carefully dosed out).

  5. Both my boys get hives. It could be anything from a dust particle or old flower in his hay that he ate to stress. I think taking him off the supplement and taking his blanket off are just the right thing to do. I knot it is way to cold for a bath, but you might want to get a bottle of alchol and some wipes and go over him to see if that helps. My guess is that it will not. I have found that with my boys at least, if it is all over the body it is something they ate or smelled and if it is only in one area it is something that touched their skin. I hope Laz feels better soon.

  6. Sorry if this comment is a double - the first one went missing.

    Poor Laz! Hope he is better soon!

  7. This is my first visit here! Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience with hives, as my girl has lots of allergies. Hers are all from bug bite. I would agree with the previous posters - if it's contact dermatitis it would be localized to a specific area. With there being no pattern, I'd venture a guess that it's likely either something he ate or inhaled.
    Just a thought, but I've had several animals that are hypersensitive (to drugs, supplements, vaccinations, bugs, pollen, etc). Don't know how you feel about it, but I have had good success with using Chinese medicine in situations like these. A good holistic vet might be able to help you with an herbal detox and some acupuncture to get things sorted out for the long term. For immediate relief, apple cider vinegar or oatmeal poultice might help.

  8. Hi Michelle! Thanks for visiting! :)
    Funny you should mention holistic approaches. I am strongly (feeling/thinking) that Laz would fare better with that approach. I just know that his laminitis was brought on due to all the meds being pumped into him for his Colic (not that I blame the vet, he is amazing!)but Laz is obviouslly showing signs of sensitivity to things. There is a local specialist I'm thinking of having out soon, as soon as I have a bit of extra cash to do so. Thanks for the vinegar tip, I may try that out! :)