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Insect Hypersensitivity

Insect Hypersensitivity

With summer just around the corner it is a good time to remember some of the seasonal issues that affect horses.

Some horses may suffer from insect hypersensitivity which is caused by the bite of several insects such as flies and mosquitos. Insect hypersensitivity is an allergic reaction caused by insect bites, the severity of which can depend on the sort of environment that your horse is in.

The good news is that in the UK, there is a low incidence of insect hypersensitivity and it is mostly an issue during Spring and Summer due to the rise of the number of insects. If animals travel to places where flies and mosquitos are more abundant, such as countries where the temperature and humidity are higher, they might encounter these issues more frequently.

Horses present with an intense itch and skin papules with the possibility of self-inflicted trauma due to scratching. This situation can progress to severe erosions, skin crusts, hair loss and even bacterial infections.

Some breeds such as German Shire horses, Icelandic horses imported from Iceland, Arabians and Quarter horses seem to have a genetic predisposition insect hypersensitivity but if you think your horse might be suffering from this condition, please speak to your vet and they will do the necessary tests and assessments to manage it.

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Published: 17 May 2018

Read the previous article: Inflammatory Bowel Disease