So, because nothing is ever dull with horses, I spent the morning with my vet. Again.

Yesterday, I pulled Jack out of the field and noticed this:

Saturday afternoon

A bath in case it was skin related, icing around the legs where there was a little filling, and a dose of antihistamine and I stuck him in his stall and bade him goodnight.

When I checked in with the barn manager this morning, we found this:

This morning

Halp! My horse is mutating!

pool noodle legs and rather doughy sheath

Based on the distribution, we’re going with the assumption that he ate something he is obviously allergic to. He got an IV shot of dex and I’ve wrapped him all around to try and get the leg swelling down- right now he’s so swollen he doesn’t care to walk around.

I’m lucky to have a team of people keeping on eye on him, but it still makes a horse-mom worry. Has anyone else ever dealt with hives like this? Do you know what caused them, and what did you do to treat them?

13 thoughts on “Hives

  1. Oh man!!!! Poor Jack!!! I’ve never seen a horse that blown up with hives so not much help here but it sounds like you’ve got it under control? Hope he feels better soon and the swelling goes down!!!!

  2. that is very scary….i had a horse that hived on grass (reaction to some weird grass in field) but it resolved itself pretty fast (That was all we could figure out it was he was rolling in pasture and got up and viola).

    However, I am just saying as Jack mutates if each bump pops out another Jack (AKA like Gremlins) I want one. I just won’t let it eat after midnight 🙂

    HA HA HA (Fingers crossed it all resolves soon in all seriousness)

  3. My horse goes through phases of being covered in hives, just like this, for years. Unfortunately we have never really gotten to the bottom of them as it’s nearly impossible. Hers are definitely seasonal, popping up in spring and summer only. We have never been able to figure out if it was changes in hay/grass or related to bug bites as they were all nearly impossible to “eliminate”. Best we could do was cover her head to toe in fly gear, keep her hay as consistent as possible, and keep a bottle of dex on hand for flare ups! Good luck.

  4. Oh yes, I have a mare who loves to break out in hives like this. It scares me half to death but dex and banamine always seem to help. I actually keep dex on hand because she is so prone to this, so I can dose her even before I call the vet. She’s done it for no obvious reason, once she did it after spring shots, and one time she had it in conjunction with a COPD/RAO episode (think asthma attack in a horse who is panting – not fun!). I hope Jack bounces back to his old self soon! Hang in there!

  5. I have 2 who break out in hives. I’ve gotten Subi’s under control as they’re from gnats, but we haven’t figured out the cause of Batt’s hives. He even broke out when he was at New Bolton recovering from a severe colic… I always try and keep dex on hand for the hives. I’m out so I should probably pick some up from the vet.

  6. Kat’s ( mare Holly got Hives every year, seasonal allergy for that mare – not sure if we ever got down to the bottom of it.

  7. I used to own an Arab that broke out like this after midges got to him. Had to give him access to fans at all times. Hope jack feels better soon 🙂

  8. Yes. Tristan looks an awful lot like that when he really breaks out. I did what you did here the first few times – baths, ice, dex. Last summer, we put him on oral antihistamines for the whole summer and he never had an incident.

    We never figured out what caused it. Our best guess was that he was rolling in or eating something in his field. He now gets a full fly sheet + fly mask as soon as it starts to get green, regular baths, and the drugs. I have high hopes that it will work again this summer.

  9. Yep, Pig has done this once. We had an incredibly wet early summer (rain every day for over 2 months!), and he just puffed up. Dex did the trick, but we had to keep him on zyrtec until it dried out. Apparently there’s some kind of fungus in the ground here only activated by intense, long-lasting rain.

    Note! Antihistamines are illegal to show on with USEF! Make sure you withdraw them correctly in case of drug testing!

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