Alternative Treatements for Horse Allergies

Some people are allergic to horses. Depending on the person, this can result in a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Itchy or running nose
  • Itchy skin, hives or rashes
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Asthma attack

People vary not only in terms of the types of symptoms but also the severity. This can range from a slight itch to a serious asthma attack. If you suffer from asthma, you should take care when you first come into contact with horses, and have your inhaler or other treatments to hand, as there have been a few instances of fatal asthma attacks associated with horses. In particular, special care should be taken with asthmatic children when first exposed to horses, in case they have an adverse reaction.

The most common cause of horse allergies is horse dander (bits of hair and skin which flake off, like dandruff). Other common causes include horse mites, urine and even horse salvia.

One can easily have an allergic reaction without touching or being close to a horse. If one enters a barn or other enclosed area which has been recently used to hold horses, one can have a reaction to allergic agents which remain even though no horses are present at the time. Likewise, if one has a friend or family member who rides, it is quite possible to have a reaction when coming into contact with their riding clothes, tack or even their hair as allergic agents can easily be rubbed into these.

Horse allergies can be easily treated, using the same methods as for other allergies. These include medication, desensitizing treatment or simple avoidance.

If you want to ride but find that your allergies are making this difficult, you may want to try riding a curly horse breed. Many people who suffer from horse allergies find that they have little or no reaction with these breeds.

Another approach is to find out which aspect of the horse you are allergic to (by trial-and-error, or by being medically tested) and then simply avoiding this aspect. For example, if one is allergic to horse mites, reducing their population by treating the horse and its box against mites may resolve the issue. Likewise, if one is allergic only to horse salvia or urine, take care to avoid these specific elements.

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