The Natural Horse Vet Magalog

Page 7

Allergies, Itchy Skin and Other “Icky Stuff” Nutrition: Critical By Dan Moore, The Natural Vet®

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And so are those wonderful flies, mosquitoes and, for many horse owners, those awful allergy problems. Veterinarians call them dermatitis. Those that have affected horses call it a nightmare. Often hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, have been spent doing blood tests on affected horses. These usually come back telling you nothing can be done. And they frequently say your horses are allergic to items that you couldn’t possibly keep them away from, like flies, certain hays, and dust!

that causes EPM)? Horses have lived with opossums for millions of years! What has changed? Why are our horses more susceptible to illness such as allergies from flies, and West Nile from mosquitoes? Aren’t mosquitoes and flies normal insects for horses to be exposed to while in the wild? Today, unlike when I graduated from Vet School in 1980, just 25 years ago, things seem worse. Our horses appear to be weaker today as opposed to yesteryears.

Desensitization with allergy shots is usually recommended. However, allergy shots are expensive. It is similar for humans. Can you imagine a Native What’s worse is they only work about 50% of the time! American stalking upon his prey, crawling through Other alternatives, such as steroids and bushes full of pollen and all of a sudden, antihistamines are becoming less and less sneezing? In man, allergies were never popular too; it appears they only make even heard of until the industrial “Can you imagine matters worse. Yes, allergy problems in revolution. In fact, the first mention of a Native American horses are a nightmare! Allergies are allergies was in highly polluted industrial stalking upon his becoming more and more prevalent. Yet areas of England. At first they were called prey....and all of a hopefully, with the knowledge I am about Rose Fever, later simply allergies. sudden, sneezing?” to give you, you will never have to experience them with your horse! Man and horse are worse today because we have bombarded them with so many vaccines, chemicals, pollutants and toxins. The What are the symptoms? consequence for man and beast, is an immune system The obvious symptom of allergies is itching. This is often that is critically out of balance. It simply is in “hyper” accompanied by hives, which are little raised bumps, mode - not really knowing anymore to what it should similar to what a bee sting would make. In severe cases, it simply starts reacting to everything - all those hives are so numerous they gather together, causing what things you couldn’t possibly keep a horse away from! are called welts. In extremely severe cases, the horse itches so bad it rubs and bites its skin until it is raw and/ Another example of an over-reactive immune system is or bleeding! Horse owners feel helpless! Fly sprays, “Heaves,” or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary lotions, etc. help somewhat. Yet, for the most part, these Disease). Essentially this is an allergy in the lungs. simply make the owner feel better - not necessarily their Autoimmune diseases (where the body reacts to itself) horse. are also related. The bottom line is that the immune system is being overworked! The cause is not what the horses are exposed to! Flies, mosquitoes, and bug bites in general are “trigger” that make things worse, but they are NOT the cause of What a mess we have! allergies. The cause is from “within”. Think about that We have ruined our soils with salt fertilizers, overfor a moment. Why are some horses allergic to flies, vaccinated, over-medicated, over or incorrectly hay, dust, etc. - items that are normal for them to be supplemented, and over-sugared so much that a horses’s around? Why do horses today have problems when body does not know which way to turn. When was the exposed to opossum manure (the source of the organism last time YOU were vaccinated? Probably not long ago! When

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