xxbamagirl27xx asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

Are these insect bites or hives? *pictures*?

I just got this horse back from a bad situation on 8/18/08. On that day, I noticed some small raised bumps on her rear, and a few on her back. On 8/19, there were more of the small bumps, but only on her right side. I hosed her down, and washed her in baby shampoo to rule out irritation from some medicine that was put on a sore on her withers, and the next day (8/20) They were still there...no more appeared, but they are bigger. They obviously irritate her, she scratches on a tree all day. This is what they look like today.



I have talked to a vet, and he said there really wasnt anything he could do...to hose her down, and give her benadryl, which I did. Didnt seem to help any. She eats and drinks just fine. Do these look like hives or insect bites? Is there anything I can do for her, comfort her, make them go away?? My first thought is these were hives...but they are only on one side of her, and a few on her neck(right side) and chest...and a few more on her legs (all 4).


I feed her the same diet she was getting before she went to her new owners (8 wks ago). Alll they were feeding her was a 10% sweet feed. I feed a 14% pelleted feed (Strategy) so she is in the process of switching back, because she was losing weight.

Is there anywhere I can get "tri-hist" other than a vet? maybe a feed store?

I did give her benadryl (30cc as instructed by the vet) every 8 hours. She doesnt seemed to have changed. They dont seem to be getting worse. How long does it take for hives to go away(if thats what it is)?

Update 2:

Not getting worse* but not getting any better, either.

I did not bathe her until after I talked to the vet. She has only been back with me for 3 days...so if she was exposed to something before then, i have no way of knowing. I loaded her on the trailer and brought her to my house, and did not give her any feed until the next morning when she settled down. I have not sprayed anything on her. She is here by herself, all of my other horses are boarded 2 miles up the road.

18 Answers

  • PJ
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Looks like she has a bad case of hives. Hives are a histamine response to an allergy and I would suspect that the source of the allergy is something in her hay or grain or something she is exposed to in her bedding. First thing I would do is treat her with an antihistamine. Tri-Hist and HistALL are good ones to consider. Second thing I would do is try to identify the source of the allergy. To do that I would take her off her hay and grain and put her in pasture 24/7 for a few days, not much longer though because the sudden switch can overwhelm her gut and cause her to colic or founder. Stop the antihistamine then when the hives are gone and return her to her barn and resume her usual grain and bedding but feed her hay from a different source than what you have been giving her. If the hives do not return then the source of the allergy is the hay you was feeding her but if the hives do return then the hay you was feeding is okay and the source is probably either the grain or her bedding, in which case you should change the source of her grain and put her back on the antihistamine until the hives are gone again. Then stop the antihistamine again then when the hives are gone. If the hives do not return then the source of the allergy is the grain you was feeding her but if the hives do return then the grain you was feeding is okay and the source is probably her bedding. Change the source of her bedding and put her back on the antihistamine again until the hives are again gone and then stop the antihistamine again. If the hives do not return then the source of the allergy was the bedding you was using. But if the hives do return then you will have to continue the process of elimination in similar manner as you did her hay, grain, and bedding until you finally find the source of the allergy. A little good luck and a lot of diligence will help you accomplish that. Don't give up though because a lifetime on antihistamine is not the best solution to an allergy.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


    Source(s): Cure Urticaria http://givitry.info/FullUrticariaCure
  • Azeri
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Poor girl! It does look like hives. Either way, it's an allergic reaction (either in response to something ingested, or a really bad response to bug bites), I think. But the Benadryl didn't work? As someone suggested, try Tri-Hist or Histall.

    One of the horses I ride had terrible hives every summer when I first started working with him, 2 years ago. This year he's had barely a problem at all. We made the following changes: We stopped the sweet feed, now he only gets 8 oz 2x day, of a vitamin/mineral feed (Stay Strong). He also now gets 1/4 c. ground flaxseed and 1/4 c. rice bran oil with his feed, 2x day, and 2 oz salt in both feedings. this He gets hosed off at least once a day, usually twice, as he sweats a lot. All of this is new for him, We're not sure which af these changes has affected the hive situation, as all of the changes were made at the same time, but the improvement is really remarkable, as previously there were days I couldn't ride him due to the hives. He's turned out 24/7, and we live in a humid climate.

    Hope this helps.

    Edit; I buy Histall at the feed store. ( I use it for a horse with SPAOD, not hives, but both are allergic responses).

    I think it takes a while for a horse to respond to the Benadryl, but I can't give an exact time frame. I think sweet feed exacerbates any tendency of a horse to react to allergins, since simple sugars encourage the inflammatory process.

  • Lisa J
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Definitely hives. If the Benadryl isn't working, maybe it's her nerves and not an allergic reaction to anything. People can get hives from being stressed out, so why not a horse? Vetrolin has some good medicated shampoos that may help some. Otherwise, try to get some Tri-Hist and giver some extra attention. She's probably all freaked out from being away. I'm certainly no expert, I'm just throwing an idea out there.

    Source(s): TB Owner/Hunt Seat Competitor
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  • 1 decade ago

    Sure enough looks like hives and give not only Benedryl or Tri Hist for treatment, but include an antibiotic. It's not uncommon to have an infection cooking at the same time. Hives can sure enough take a while to go away. One of our show horses had hives...some kind of "contact" dermatitis, and it was forever and a day to get rid of them.

    Tepid or cool water showers will help her to feel a little more comfortable...has to be miserable for her in summer heat.

    Source(s): Been there.
  • Mark C
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    These are hives, they may be a light allergic reaction from insect bites. When my horse had this problem the vet advised me to wait a few days and fly spray at least daily. They went away without further action.

  • lisa m
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    My horse had that earlier this year and I got some Tri-Hist from the vet, just one scoop per day and it never returned. Tri-Hist is about $30 for a tub. If they are really bad you can give them 2 scoops and then reduce it to 1, once the hives are under control.

    You may find that the hair will start to come off and that is due to the horse rubbing and itching and either getting a bacterial skin infection like Staph or it's getting a fungal infection on top of it. You then need to either give antibiotics for the staph or anti-fungal powder orally for a few days. Bathing in Betadine would will also help.

  • 1 decade ago

    Looks like hives to me, poor baby. Along with the allergy relief and antibiotic topical that's already been recommended. I'd suggest stopping at a Walmart and buying some alcohol free, 100% aloe vera (big bottles in bulk, I prefer the clear variety) and just glob it all over the affected areas at least twice a day. It's wonderful not only for soothing and relief, but for promoting faster repair of injuries, bites, burns, etc. Your horse will thank you. Good luck. It makes me itchy and uncomfortable just looking at it.

  • 1 decade ago

    My horse looked just like this a few weeks ago. She got into a yellow jacket nest in the pasture, and broke out in hives like this in reaction to the stings. There was only a few stings, but hives all over her body and neck. They took a couple of days to show up, like you are describing, and about a week to start clearing up. I used zinc cream (diaper rash cream is cheap and works really well) on the worst ones, and let the rest work itself out of her. Not much else you can do.

    Source(s): Personal experience
  • Amy S
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    It kind of looks like she rolled in ants and then had an allergic reaction to them. I think hives would be more uniform in size and spread out more evenly, but bites plus hives (the reaction) would make sense. Benadryl is good, and maybe get some aloe vera juice (they sell it at walmart) and rub it on her to soothe her skin. Did you vet say anything about giving her dex to help with the itching? Not normally the best thing to do, but if it really seems to bother her, I would consider it. Also, maybe a bath with vinegar to help get some of the sting out? Not sure what else you could do. But make sure to look around your pasture and get rid of any ants you find. Good luck :)

    ADD: Lisa M's suggestion of the Tri-Hist is good. I used that for my horse a few years ago and it worked pretty well.

    EDIT: I just re-read your question. It says you just got her back. Maybe she is having a reaction to something in your barn/field. Maybe the hay? The type of grain? The grass? Could be anything. My horse is allergic to timothy hay, oats, oak trees, bugs, bahia grass, pollen, linseed oil, and about 20 other things (we had her tested). I ended up putting her on a natural herbal drink supplement and it cleared up her hives. I still have her on it to this day - she lives under oak trees, eats timothy hay and oats, is exposed to bugs, pollen, bahia, and all of that, and she doesn't break out anymore. If your horse is truly allergic to something in her surroundings, you might want to consider it. Here's a link to the product so you can get the info, but I would buy it off of ebay (much cheaper) http://tunguskablast.com/corp

    And I normally give her one ounce per day, except during major allergy times (spring mostly) when I'll bump her up to two or three.

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