Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Maisa's Allergies

That's Daf on the left, and Maisa on the right. The student in between is taking a brush away from Maisa. He of course is ever hopeful she will give it back.

This is the first time I've ever had to deal with a horse with allergies like this. This is worse than my old Lab that had flea allergies, and was allergic to dry grass. Last year my vet gave Maisa a cortisone shot. It lasted a grand total of three days. Since then I've been trying to manage his allergy to gnats with fly spray, fly sheets, spot on fly repellent, MTG, Gentocin, mink oil, a cream from Dynamite vitamins, vinegar, garlic, rabon blocks, skin so soft, swat, gnat away. That's all I can think of off the top of my head. (Good lord, I look at that list and think...whew I'm a crazy woman).

I kind of tipped over when he bloodied both of his shoulders in a twelve to twenty-four hour period. It was still winter. We had two or three days of nice weather, the gnats came out, and just tore him up. I'll see him out there, swishing and stomping, and the horses standing next to him are unaffected by the gnats. They seem to just mob poor little Maisa.

So he lives 24/7 in a flysheet with a neck cover and bellyband. The Amigo Bug Buster has worked the best, but it's pretty much destroyed. I purchased two Saxon soft mesh ones, with bellybands, and necks. That was just a couple weeks ago. He's already destroyed one...with Daf's help. I put the second new one on him last night. Daf is locked in the pen with Cat...we'll see how the sheet fairs. We may be accusing Daf unjustly. Although, day one (hour one) of the first new flysheet she bit him in the butt and put a hole in it.

Even with being covered, fly sprayed, flysheet fly sprayed, and monitored daily. He has rubbed out his tail on the right side, parts of his face, and his tummy. The tummy really kind of baffles me. It's covered for one, and there is nothing he can straddle to rub it out.

One of the really tough things is I can't really ride him. He is so distracted by the itchiness he is almost immobilized. He tries to scratch his neck on the reins. Anywhere tack touches he tries to rub up against. He's like a manic, twitchy itchy mess when under saddle. He'll come to a halt, and just sling his head down to bite his chest, legs or side. Yes, I have fly spray on him. It's like if he gets bit anywhere on his body, his whole body itches. It's not just at the site of the bite. It has to be just miserable for him. There is no way I'm going to try and force him to concentrate on going under saddle when he can't even be present due to the itchiness.

Making an appointment today for Maisa and Daf at the vets. Maisa for allergy testing, and shots, Daf for re-check on her eyes, and whatever this odd unbalanced...feels like she's going to fall down when you ride her deal.


fernvalley01 said...

Good grief ! poor Maisa ! they make a benadryl product for horses
Also found a few products here

GoLightly said...

What Is it with some beasties?

Poor Maisa!

Good luck with them both!

(waves adoringly to Top)

nccatnip said...

Gosh, that must be miserable. Is this new onset or something that has exacerbated?
I cannot imagine recommending anything you have not tried already- good luck at the vet.

horspoor said...

FV...the ones I see are for respiratory issues. Will it help with itchiness?

fernvalley01 said...

The Benadryl works for skin issues as well anmds there was one listed
>>Hydroxyzine Pamoate antihistamine and it is used for acute inflammatory and allergic conditions such as snake bites, vaccination reactions, Blood transfusion reactions, bee stings and insect bites, Managing itchy skin.
Antihistamines are for an all over allergic response resp or systemic . Just something to check with ht vet about

horspoor said...

Can you tell I don't have any allergies myself. lol

CCH said...

I have a couple that are really sensitive and will get hives from the bugs. Occasionally they will rub tails bloody in spots, but not their skin.

Have you tried just a feed through antihistamine? Like Anihist or Trihist? That seems to work for me, then I just use simple shampoo like EQ Solution, EZall, or a medicated if necessary to give a bath like once a week or so. I also put Dermaclens on any open sores.

I've had better luck using a regular sheet with a fly mask and fly neck cover.

horspoor said...

CCH....and what about where their tummy's get raw. Does that seem to be okay in just a regular sheet?

Vet is calling me back to see if they can fit me in tomorrow. If not Maisa can go Saturday, and Daf will have to wait for Tuesday.

I really want to get Daf in ASAP.

Dena said...

Glad to see you have a plan. I knew you would.
Poor Maisa I have never dealt with the like.
Benadryl is fabulous for the stop itching factor though.
You might want to take a look at just picking up a tube of the cream for people to use topically to help relieve some of the external stuff too.
I did use that when we were inundated with ringworm and you could almost see them go Ahhhhhhh.
Good Luck with all this.
You sure have been hit with an above average load of shit to deal with.
And you were right. Not even a sledgehammer.*sigh*

horspoor said...

I got an appointment for both of them tomorrow afternoon.

GL, I don't know. But it really does seem like there are just some hardluck horses. Those that things just go bad for and it continues. Bizarre crap too. It's like they never catch an even break.

nccatnip said...

the benedryl should help with the itching due to the antihistamine properties.
I was thinking, maybe it is not a bug allergy. Many times in dogs we see skin issues and it is often an allergy to something in the food--
I know many dog owners that have spend tons treating skin conditons topically and it turned out it was something in the food.
Is it possible he is scratching with is attracting the gnats?

blueheron said...

Good luck with the appt. today. I hope Maisa can get some relief, and I hope there are some answers for Daf.

How's the foal of Elaine's that was eating buttercups?

Nicely dun said...

Thats horrible...and most unfun to deal with. Dont get too frustrated!
This might sound crazy,but try spraying on some listerine(the blue mouthwash) on the itchy areas.
It seems to work-for the itchies anyway. Even though it would only be a short term solution he would smell good :) I think the fact that its basically antibacterial really helps.

Hope you can find something that works for both of you.
(what about vaseline on his -im assuming-bites?)

CCH said...

I'm not sure about the belly band for summer. I don't have any sheets or fly sheets with belly bands because of the heat. I have them on all of my winter blankets.

I guess it would depend on how close your belly band is to the body. If you have it adjusted fairly tight, then it is probably providing decent coverage. If its hanging a bit, then it might not be all that different than a sheet without the band.

Anyway, let us know how the vetting goes.

GoLightly said...

Along the lines of ND's "crazy" listerine idea, I used absorbine for my itchy feet.

Worked like a charm.
No idea if that's relevant.
I think the mint plants can be effective in people, crushed up and used against mosquito bites, for prevention and treatment of the itch.

Good luck!

autumnblaze said...

It's like the center of the hrose allergy universe here in swampy Hampton Roads VA. I've seen horses who will lay down and crawl to scratch their bellies. Seriously. They pull themselves along with their front feet.

Gator was heading down that road, back before I knew him. He's gone through allergy shots which do help tremendously. Expensive yes, but if you do them as directd they do work (I'm a human example of that! Horrible when I was kid.) Anyways, additionally you're doing the topical stuff - about all you can do. The products I can think of you may try to help give him some releif are:

NuSal T shampoo - get it from your vet. Soothes the itches.

Some respond to a topical high strength cortizone gel/cream that the vet can also get you.

Gator and a few yougnsters on Mary's farm that have bad fly reactions are on some supplements that help - truly too. She gives teh Platinum Performance Equine daily (general overall supplement which is FANTASTIC) and then their skin and allergy forumla. It's pricey but they really are fantastic products.
Platinum Performance

I do sound like I work for them or get a cut but I don't. I reeeaaaallly have seen some good results with horses on it - joint-wise, coat and feet when working for the vet here.

autumnblaze said...

Oh and Nicely's idea is also often used around here! It works for the 'funk' as I call it... it's so humid usually - people will use it to help heal up and kill bacteria/fungus with scratches/rainrot/face funk ... some have good luck actually. There was a mixture that had listerine in it taht I heard worked best... but I forgot it.

autumnblaze said...

OOooh... and for the cases that were BAAAADDDD... I mean...

these horses had no mane/tail (literally none) and scars from all the itchy rubbing.

When they would have a bad flair up I think my boss put them on prednisolone (Prednisone does not work as well in horses as prednisolone!). It was a pretty high mg... for like 5 days or so. That of cousre would have to come from your vet but he had good success with helping calm them down for a few days so the topical stuff could take effect and help.