What To Do If Your Horse Has Hives


Believe it or not, horses can get hives too. Like people, horses get hives as a reaction to something that they are allergic to. Sometimes, these swollen bumps can be really uncomfortable and itchy for the horse, so knowing what’s causing the hives is important.

What To Do If Your Horse Has Hives

The first thing you should do if you notice that your horse has hives is to call your veterinarian. Hives are a symptom of an allergic reaction so taking care of and treating this symptom is important when it comes to keeping your horse happy and comfortable. The best thing you could probably do to help your horse better tolerate the hives they have across their body is to give them a cool bath. This can help to reduce any swelling and cool the hives so they aren’t as itchy. Then, with the help of your veterinarian, try to find out what it is that is causing the hives on your horse.

Most Common Causes Of Hives In Horses

There are many different reasons why your horse suddenly broke out in a big itchy rash. The top causes for hives in horses include:

  • Insect Bites
  • Insect Stings
  • Certain Medications
  • Vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels)
  • Parasites
  • Food Allergy
  • Allergy to something in the horse’s environment

Where On The Horse’s Body Are Hives Most Commonly Found?

The most common places that hives may appear include:

  • On the back
  • On the neck
  • Near and on the flank
  • Across the neck
  • On the legs

More severe cases of hives may cause hives to appear:

  • On the inside of the mouth
  • On the outside of the mouth
  • Under the tail
  • Near or on the rectum
  • Near or on the vagina

How Big Are Hives?

Hives can be all kinds of different shapes and sizes. Some hives are just 2 centimeters wide in diameter while others are so large that they can reach up to 20 centimeters wide. It all depends on the horse’s allergic reaction, the extremity of the reaction, and where the hives are forming.

Usually, in a mild case of hoves, the lumps are just a couple centimeters wide in diameter and are only spread out in the mane areas of the horse’s body and aren’t seen on more sensitive areas.

What Should I Do If My Horse Has Hives?

The first thing you should be doing in this situation is calling your veterinarian to the scene to examine your horse and to make sure there isn’t anything else wrong. If your horse has a chronic case of hives that just keep reappearing, your horse is probably allergic to something in their food, or environment that is giving me this reaction.

Once your veterinarian is called and they are okay with you proceeding with this, you can hose the horse down with cool water. The cool water will help to reduce the itching and to reduce the swelling that the reaction causes all across the horse’s coat.

Hailey Johnson

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

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