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Allergic Reaction to Flies?????

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MooreAcres

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One of my horses is having a bizzare breakout of lumps, mainly on his neck. I first noticed this about a month ago. I immediately started applying a "calming gel" to it (I can't remember the brand name off hand), along with Fly Block fly spray. The lumps decreased in size and disappeared after a few days. Not long after that, they became apparent once again. I have been fighting this for about two weeks now. They will go down in size, disappear in some spots, then return. This morning he had very minimal TINY bits on the left side of his neck, however on the right side there were lumps ontop of lumps, clusters if you will.

I am covering him in Pyranna Fly Spray twice a day (before he goes outside and just before he goes into his stall at night), I clean the stall daily, and spray the stall walls with fly spray. All the wet food, along with the dry grains, are covered so that they wont attract bugs as much.

I wondered if he was allergic to the spray, BUT I wasn't spraying his before all this started. Nothing dramatic has changed in his feed regimen. He has been at this barn off and on for the last 6 years, and has NEVER had this sort of thing happen. All my other horses are fine. I'm almost positive its bug bites that are causing this.

What should I do??????

I have a call into the vet to see what they might suggest. Any imput would be greatly appreciated. I am attempting to get pictures uploaded so you all can see what I am trying to describe.

Thanks
 

Triple the Fun

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I know exactly where you're coming from, and would like an answer as well. One of our geldings here for the summer has had some of these on his belly, and the fly spray just doesn't seem to do much. Any help is appreciated.
 

barefoot

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I had a horse where it was the fly spray that would cause these hives. I think it was a combo of the fly spray and the sun on the fly spray. I had to find other ways to protect her. Skin so soft was the worst culprate. (sp?) I tried that thinking it was better not being an insecticide. I just saw a Mule that broke out in hives from skin so soft also. I think people think it is the flies and put more spray on and that makes it worse. Look out for damaging immune things so she doesn't develope allergies.

Emma
 

cretahillsgal

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I have two mares who have similar problems. But I have been able to correct and prevent it by doing the things that you are already doing. Mainly by spraying them with fly spray constantly. And honestly this year the flies are nearly non existant because it has been so hot and windy.

Another thing to think about would be any weeds in your pasture. I have one mare who is constantly broke out from the sunflowers in our pasture. She doesn't eat them, but I think that the sap from them gets on her neck, belly and legs while she is grazing. I just try to bathe her in calming shampoo often to give her some relief. We sprayed the sunflowers, but they litterally "grow like weeds"
 

Kootenay

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My full size mare also breaks out in welts from bugs, but worse with fly spray products. I started using Absorbine® SuperShield Green™ All Natural Horse Spray, and so far no problems. It's not that great for those small black flies though, but it works well for general flies. oh--and it smells wonderful
.

Here is a link: Absorbine Natural Spray
 

Sanny

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I have lots of experience in this area.....

One of my horses is having a bizzare breakout of lumps, mainly on his neck. I first noticed this about a month ago. I immediately started applying a "calming gel" to it (I can't remember the brand name off hand), along with Fly Block fly spray. The lumps decreased in size and disappeared after a few days. Not long after that, they became apparent once again. I have been fighting this for about two weeks now. They will go down in size, disappear in some spots, then return. This morning he had very minimal TINY bits on the left side of his neck, however on the right side there were lumps ontop of lumps, clusters if you will.
I am covering him in Pyranna Fly Spray twice a day (before he goes outside and just before he goes into his stall at night), I clean the stall daily, and spray the stall walls with fly spray. All the wet food, along with the dry grains, are covered so that they wont attract bugs as much.

I wondered if he was allergic to the spray, BUT I wasn't spraying his before all this started. Nothing dramatic has changed in his feed regimen. He has been at this barn off and on for the last 6 years, and has NEVER had this sort of thing happen. All my other horses are fine. I'm almost positive its bug bites that are causing this.

Your vet can draw blood and send it off to a lab to be checked for allergies and they are very detailed tests. We had this done for a horse with similar problems, he was having the same issues and it kept getting worse and worse. The test results came back showing he was allergic to black flies, deer flies and mosquitoes.
How do you avoid all those when you are a horse?

He was put on a year long allergy shot program to hopefully desensitize him. It started out a shot just under the skin every 3rd day I think and gradually went down to once a month then stopped. It did improve him but he still gets the hives and lumps sometimes. He is also sensitive to certain brands of pine shavings and has broken out at shows I think from the bedding.

By the way, the vet told me to be sure and not feed him any feeds with molasses in it because horses with allergies tend to be very sensitive and frequently are allergic to the molasses and their owners dont know it.

Also when he is body clipped he gets bumps and itchy. I always try to clip him with no more than a #10 and give him a good bath afterward. The vet gave me a bottle of coal tar shampoo -- it is in a plain bottle with no label on it, looks home-made, actually, but it works great it is very soothing and helps a lot. Vet also gave me a couple of emergency shots to keep in the first-aid kit -- cannot remember the name offhand -- if he has a bad allergic reaction to something the shot instantly takes down the hives/lumps and something like that would be good to have in case he is exposed to something that causes a really nasty reaction.

I have been told oil-based fly sprays can make allergies like this worse and Pyrana (the one with the bright yellow and black bottles or cans) now makes a more gentle and natural water-based fly spray that I use on him instead and it seems to work.

A fly sheet helps a lot and is very lightweight -- not hot in the summer -- I noticed at Shetland Congress that I think Star Lake Tack had some for $20 and I was going to buy a couple and forgot. I think she also had fly hoods too for horses that are really sensitive on the neck. Hopefully she still has them at Nationals.

Another thing I haven't done but I know someone who did, she got one of those pop up screen gazebos and put it up in her horses stall so he has a totally fly and bug free stall area. I have on my list of things to do is put up screen doors on the barn so that I can keep both ends of the barn open but spray the inside really well and hopefully keep bugs and flies out. Keeping the horse inside during dusk when the bugs are at their worst might be a good idea, around here by about 10PM the bugs are gone for the night.

My kids have bantam chickens now and those annoying little beggers really eat the mosquitoes and flies in and around the barn because I have noticed since we got them that we hardly have any flies at all out in and around the barn and mosquitoes are better too. I have not had to put up fly traps or worry about spraying much at all. I even saw one of the chickens catch a mouse the other day which surprised me.

He has been at this barn off and on for the last 6 years, and has NEVER had this sort of thing happen. All my other horses are fine. I'm almost positive its bug bites that are causing this.
Our horses previous owner AND the breeder that he came from both say he never had a problem like this before. Our vet did say horses can develop allergies when they get older (our horse is 12) and I do know the first year we had him he was ok and then the past three years he got worse and worse until we finally had him tested.

The allergy shot program didnt totally eliminate it but it is a lot better than previous years.
 
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Floridachick

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We have a very sensitive mare and after a bunch of test she is on Benedryl daily 1 per 100#'s of BW and Garlic supplement. Goodluck
 

Loess Hills

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We have a horse that developed an allergy to fly bites. This was confirmed by a skin biopsy test done by our vet. Treatment at the time......a few years ago.......was a topical steriod spray called Genesis.

Believe me, we have tried everything we could think of in the way of preventive medicine. We have tried:

  1. planting garlic around all the dry lots. Some one had suggested that garlic keeps away flies, and it worked for them, so I tried it. Well, every year the garlic comes up, but can't say it prevents the flies from returning.

Using the fly predators. This was semi-successful as we seemed to see less flies. However, our neighbors to the east have horses in an adjoining pasture and they don't do anything. Consequently the fly predators work on our side of the fence........but their flies come over, too!

Feeding a garlic supplement, Bug Check. Used on top of their grain they eventually adjusted to the oder, but did not like it at all. Didn't seem to have any effect and fed it from early April through October.

Fly spray can work temporarily and we still use it, but it's not very effective.

What we have found that works is the fly spray dispensers, like Country Vet. We've installed them at the entrance to the barns, and in hallways. They emit a mist every fifteen minutes, and we seldom have flies in the barn for long. Also have fans. For the horse with the allergy, he has a deep dark stall with fan and he'll spend most hot fly days in their. He can come and go in the run, but prefers the stall. An added benefit to the spray dispensers is that we no longer have cobwebs or spiders in the barn. 'Cause I hate them worse than flies!

It's just an ongoing battle to try to find the right solution for the horse. Continue to talk with your vet, they can offer some good suggestions and advice.
 

Christina_M

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All the ideas so far are good ones. Just some more ideas that may help. At Congress I heard of a few ponies that had allergic reaction's to Fly Blocker Fly Spray (purple bottle). Marcie Silver had to call a vet and he administered a steroid shot and Benedryl. Since he had the bumps before you applied the fly spray he might have been sensitive to the fly spray because of the bumps which made them come back. Although, I've used it on my riding horses with no problems and it seems to work better and longer than the previous fly sprays I've tried.

Do you have any type of other bugs (mites, chiggers, etc.) in your area that maybe bothering him?

Good luck!
 

Marty

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This is my Sonny who cannot go out in fly season daily without his mesh cooler outfits. He has a few of them. There is also another piece not shown here that is actually supposed to be a mesh mane tamer that hooks from the halter to the cooler which protects his neck. When he bends down to graze, his neck gets attacked by the flies and bitten badly so he does wear it. I hate turning him out with a halter but that is the only way to get it to stay up on his neck in place. I do have to keep an eye on it. He's incredibly smart too because when I open his stall door in the mornings for turn outs, he will refuse to leave the isleway until I have him fully dressed in his protective fly gear. I also use Solitude and Endure fly spray on the legs and now he has a full length fly mask that covers the muzzle.





If you go to Ozark Mountain (www.minitack.com) Lisa also carrys some very nice fly protective outfits that look pretty good to me. Check this out:

http://www.minitack.com/lll1024.htm
 

Shari

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Erin, the mosquitoes have been very bad in our area this year,, the worse I have ever seen since I moved here. Theia was having the same problems.. mosquitoes were eating her alive. She is one of those horses that...and I kid you not,,,. rip every sheet off no matter how well made and refused to wear her fly mask. Maybe I will do a fly mask hunt in my woods..to find all the ones she left out there. Sigh ~~

Anyway.. I have been using a fly spray that seems to be working keeping the mosquitoes off her...will have to go in the other room later to see what brand. I spray her every 3 days.

But Hives can be cause by anything. Something they ate, bugs and so on. If you can,, would be best to see if you can find out.
 

Gypsygal

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Since we have broodmares and I never want to spray a broodmare with fly spray (I have had foals get sick from licking their moms) we started using a 1/2 vinegar and water or 1/2 listerine and water. None of my mares have had a problem and it sure seems to keep the flies away and other nasty little bugs.

Ann
 

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