After a cold, wet winter I am excited to welcome the warmer weather with open arms. As much as I would love to bask in the New Zealand spring sun, I find myself sneezing and crying due to the now overwhelming pollen. Just like how we can suffer from hay fever, so too can our horses.
Allergies, especially in Spring, are common in horses and can range from mild to severe. Many trees such as; Pines, Birches, Alders, Cedars and Poplars have pollen that cause allergies. Grasses can also be at the root of the cause, this is less common but some horses may experience allergic reactions to Rye and Timothy grasses.
Symptoms may differ between individual horses and can be a whole range of reactions:
- itchy skin or hives
- clear nasal discharge
- coughing & sneezing
- head shaking
- watery eyes
- immunocompromised horses may be prone to allergies
- Identify the possible allergen and if possible remove it from the horse's environment (this can be difficult when the allergen is the pollen from a large tree and it will be dispersed in the wind)
- Ensure your feed is not dusty, if your horse is suffering from respiratory allergies, hay can be dampened with water if that's the problem.
- If the allergy is due to the current season season the horse can be supplemented with a range of allergy tonics. At Summit we carry James Hart Allerg-G, Koff, and Defence. BetaVet also make Equi-Coff, a tonic designed to give respiratory relief. Summit also carries Sneeze Free from Brookby Herbs.
- Allergy control can also be aided with immune system supplements such as; Immune Booster Plus, Organic Echinacea, Echinacea Premier and E-Immunity.
- A nose net can also be used in the paddock or while riding to create a barrier from airborne pollen
Allerg-G from James Hart is by far our most popular allergy tonic here at Summit Grains and Saddlery.
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