Urticaria: Which are the main causes of these lesions?

Wheals are the common skin lesions in urticaria. They are frequent lesions in horses and usually associated with food or insect allergy.

It is also described in horses (and humans) exercise-induced urticaria.

To find the cause of urticaria is generally complicated and time-consuming.

A horse with wheals must do an elimination diet.

Elimination diet: How to do it?

Allergen food tests are useful, select a cereal (all cereal contains protein) for the diet trial.

Only use a single type of grain, chosen from the ones with negative results in the food allergens tests. During the diet trial, the horse has to be exclusively fed with hay or grass, and the selected cereal with no reaction in the analysis. The litter must be shavings or paper.  No concentrated feed and no treats for at least two months.

It is advisable to write down in a diary any change or anomaly that is observed during the diet trial, to help later interpretation.

ASIT: When is the best time to start ASIT against insects?

Whenever possible, it is advisable to start treatment at the end of the season.

ASIT: What if a horse tests positive for more than eight allergens?

It is better to make two subcutaneous ASIT solutions and manage them at the same time, but not in the same syringe.

The clinician may also consider SLIT which can contain up to 12 allergens.

ASIT using two subcutaneous ASIT solutions: Is it possible to mix both solutions or apply them in a single syringe?

No, the solutions should not be mixed. They should be injected with different syringes into two separate sites (for example, to the left and right of the horse’s neck). They can be administered at the same time. In case of an adverse reaction, the two injections can administer on different days (for example, Monday and Thursday).

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