Barb asks about equine allergies and much more…

I have a 19 yr old qtr type mare that has been very itchy summers,  most of her life.   She may have been 2 or 3 before it really seemed to surface as a problem to deal with.    Had the vet  out.   Thought perhaps she had a reaction to sprays.  It  had a been a buggy summer and I had sprayed  quite often, but did not rinse off or bathe her regularly.
Her mother had a bout of laminitis while she was in foal. I believe it was in the fall –  she was born in May. Vet would have known the mare was in foal.  I don’t recall all that occurred as treatment,but I’m sure some shots and  a session of bute for 10 days or so.
I noticed a couple of odd bumps to her neck when she was born.  Had a new foal exam, nothing was mentioned.   I thought maybe a little crimping and would settle out –  she was a good sized foal.   Never did.   She was normal, active, very smart and a delight to work with –  kind of forgot the neck thing.     Eventually, realized she didn’t raise her head up(poll above withers) much, and never would really bend neck.  U of Mn took a couple of picture when she was about 3 yrs.   They stopped and did not view the entire neck or beyond, when they saw her first cervical area.   They called it a “malformed first cervical” vertebrae.  
I have no idea if either of these 2  things could affect or predispose her to over reacting to  mosquito and gnat bites, but chose to include them.
One summer I moved her to an area that did not really have these two pests and the family that kept her said she did fine and needed no special treatment.
She’s just the same as everyone else from Oct to  in to May, depending on when the pests arrive.  
Her best summer was when I gave her grape seed extract capsules from Melaleuca.  It was about $70 per month and we could not afford that for future years.  
She itches very aggressively.   She has not been sprayed or wiped with traditional repellent products  for almost 14 yrs.   I have not used traditional vaccines or wormers for 2 yrs.(no sodes and n.o.m.s.)  Have used loose minerals(from a local feed store)  and redmond salt(loose) the past year.  I keep as much of her body covered as I can
and put her in a stall at night.  Keep pastures mowed and limit pasture time.  She always has access to shelter, but is only confined to a stall at night for about 4 mos of the year.
I try “something new”   that will  supposedly help her…..every year.  We’ve been through garlic, flax and quite a few other choices. Covering her up, keeping her in, and the Provex(grapeseed extract) seem to be the only things that “for sure”  have helped.
I was referred to your site recently.   So here I am, hopeful,   to again try something new that should provide relief(for her and me- so labor intensive and I can’t be away from her for more than a few hours).
We cut our own hay,  and here in Mn,    it’s a miracle to just get it in dry, so we can’t cut at an optimal time of day or growth period…just when we think we can get it in dry.  Grass mixes, very limited alfalfa.   She’s such an easy keeper, I give her very little  grain.  It’s a pelleted mix.   Started that over a year ago.  She gets less than a pound a day…I saw on your site that you recommend straight oats.   Selfish here, but I noticed that when I used the pellets…no birds or mice to speak of in the barn when there were no stray grains.  
She’s been very healthy otherwise…no health issues whatsoever.  Never anything else…colic, lameness, injuries.  Her great grandmother was my first horse, if she wasn’t family and such an awesome trail horse and incredibly comfortable to ride…I wouldn’t have kept her.
Is there any likelihood that  the neck malformation or meds her mother received  could  have any relationship to the start of all this?  Traditionally,  I’ve minimized the annual vaccines, at most, wormed about 3 times per year.  So, in comparison to many, I think I have not gone overboard with the  “stuff that can be hard on them”.
I would love to go with your full recommendations, but doubt that I can afford it.
Based on what I have shared with you and what I have been currently doing for Tessa,
could you prioritize your recommendations as you list them?  I can do the math and if I can’t swing it all..I’ll  add what I can starting with the top of the list.
Thank you,
Buffalo, Mn
Hi Barb,



Thanks for asking and I hope what I suggest will be helpful and something that you can indeed put into action
and you be on the way to a new horse. Afterwards your word-of-mouth can be applied using our referral rewards
program to possibly earn some extra reward points that could help financially. These rewards would be added
on top of the personal rewards you receive on each order. That is just something to keep in mind. The Rewards link
on he site goes into more detail.

With that said, you probably know by now that the foundation I ask all to build upon is my feeding program
( If you are not able to go "all in" at this time I would at least provide Red Cal in lieu of
any other salt/mineral supplement. Typically a 25 pound bag will last at least 100 days when provided free choice-\
only an inch or so in a bucket. If they eat more, it's because they know they need it it. If it eats less you can top-dress
a tablespoon a day while still providing free-choice, but this is usually not needed. I've got a new and quick audio on the Red Cal page that you should be sure to listen to. I will add that being an easy-keeper, provide our "Hi-Mag" version of RED CAL.

Here's the direct link (turn up your speakers!):

Now with other that you have told me, I would for sure start providing Bug Check ASAP, it is much more than just for fighting the flying/biting bugs and will help support the skin and coat. You can provide extra at the start and it might be enough to overcome the challenges you mentioned. Because of your finances, while it would be great to provide now, but to see how things go, I would consider Health Check and then Aller Check to help rid the body of the (past/present) junk and to keep it out. We have to work from the inside-out and simply give the body what it needs and sometimes that is a process to "work through" with them just as it is with us.

Bug Check (turn up your speakers!):

Also, please visit my site for great deworming information. You see, I have long suggested not to deworm just for the sake of doing it… I suggest fecal exams being conducted to see if there is a need.

I appreciate your efforts to not use the more traditional "treatments" and I think that in time you could have a like new horse.

Thank you for connecting and what you shared and for asking the questions and considering my products. Keep me posted on the progress!

Dr. Dan