Allergy to horses, allergy shots, possible anaphylaxis?

Posted on: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 7:15am
beachfan's picture
Joined: 02/15/2006 - 09:00

My child has a pa and a horse allergy. Her allergist wasn't clear how serious horse allergies are, said they weren't anaphylactic though. I was confused because I'd heard of some people being very seriously allergic to horses. I called another allergist and spoke to a nurse just to find out how serious horse allergies are/can be. She said with asthma they can be very serious, my child does not have asthma, Thank You God, so maybe the horse allergy won't be as serious with her as what I'd heard, I really don't know. The nurse also said that you can have allergy shots for animals if you want to be around them. I told her that an adult told me he had anaphylactic reactions to allergy shots. She said, oh yes that can happen, you can have anaph. reactions but we take care of it, it's not a big deal. I said I thought anaph. reactions are a big deal and she said, no it can happen with allergy shots, we have you wait for 20 minutes to make sure you're ok. This alarms me. So . . .
1. How serious can horse allergies be with no asthma and asthma?
2. Does being around animals that you're allergic to increase your risk of developing asthma? How much?

Any help would be appreciated.

Posted on: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 7:51am
LisaM's picture
Joined: 11/04/2005 - 09:00

No definitive info. here--but I've also heard that people can be very allergic to horses.
I'm very allergic----aside from reacting on the allergy tests, I held out for 2 horsebackriding sessions at camp when I was a kid. Serious asthma trouble. Enough to make me voluntarily switch to another activity even though I was *so* excited about riding horses (and I didn't usually decide to avoid animals on account of breathing difficulty.)
Re: allergy shots. It is rare to have an anaphylactic reaction, but it can happen. *Most* ana reactions if they are going to happen happen in the first 20 minutes, but delayed reactions are possible. My allergist won't let me have the preseasonal grass and ragweed shots anymore (they are like allergy shots) for this reason and says I need to be cautious if in the future I decide to go for allergy shots. (I didn't have a full blown ana reaction, but I had some mild breathing difficulty + swelling around the eye area.)

Posted on: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 9:07am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

My dh is severely allergic to horses, he is also asthmatic...
mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema

Posted on: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 10:28am
bethc's picture
Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

I'm allergic to horses according to my skin testing. I haven't been around them that much. My dad had one when I was a toddler, and he's gotten a few in the last few years. They can just make me sneeze if their hair (I suppose really their dander) gets on me. I'm terribly allergic to cats, but I had a pet one, mostly outside, that I cuddled up to a lot as a teenager. And I sometimes go to people's houses who have indoor cats and get completely miserable sneezing. I'm also allergic to dogs and have lived with them in the house, though not anymore. Again, too much itching, runny nose and sneezing. My grandma had asthma, but I've never developed it. My MIL and SIL, on the other hand, have asthma, and it really flares when they're in a house with cats. My SIL had to pretty much stay outside when she visited her brother until they got a new house and didn't bring the cats along.
Yes, allergy shots can cause anaphylactic reactions; I don't know how common this is. When I had allergy shots for pollen and dust, I once got hives on the arm a shot was given in, but that was it. Otherwise I sat there afterwards just in case I had a problem. I know they give you a shot of epinephrine if you start getting a serious reaction.

Posted on: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 11:46am
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

We don't get allergy shots (yet), but at my allergist's office the practice is (or at least was the last time we were there) this:
For regular old allergy shots, you are prescribed an Epi and are told to bring it each time you get your shots (so weekly I assume). If you don't bring it and show it to the nurse, you have to stay 30 minutes in the office after your shot--enough time to pass to prove you aren't going to go into anaphylaxis.
I know of another allergist where allergy shot patients have to wait for thirty minutes afterward no matter what--even with Epi in hand.
It's because of this recent Epi practice with shots that more folks know how to administer the Epi to DS when I was prepared to train them (and still did). [img][/img]

Posted on: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 4:45am
beachfan's picture
Joined: 02/15/2006 - 09:00

Thanks all, still wondering if reactions can be severe to being around horses. Some sound like they're mild, others uncomfortable and some breathing problems. Wondering if the reaction itself to being around a horse can be anaph.?
Thatsmetryin: what is your dh reactions since they have asthma, can it also be anaph.? I hope not, just want to be prepared and know the risks.
[This message has been edited by beachfan (edited November 10, 2006).]

Posted on: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 5:33am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Years ago we were in France, dh went horseback riding with some friends. He had never rode a horse before or been around them since being a child. Within minutes of the ride he couldn't breath and they had to rush him to the little town and wake up the pharmacist who gave him a nebulizer treatment and I think steroids. At the time he wasn't even carrying his albuterol with him!
Luckily in France Pharmacists usually live upstairs from their shops and they can administer meds more liberally then in the US. It was really scary and now we avoid horses! His symptoms were throat closing, difficulty breathing, weezing, and puffy eyes/face. He recovered pretty quickly and declined a trip to the hospital...we were young and stupid at the time!
mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema

Posted on: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 9:05am
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

Jason is allergic to horses, to the point where he can't even use horsehair brushes.

Posted on: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:24am
starlight's picture
Joined: 01/16/2004 - 09:00

I posted on here once about something like this. I read an article where it said that extreme caution should be used when skin testing people with allergies to food, drugs, or horses because of the risk of allergic reaction. I was confused because I can see drugs and food, but horses? But apparently they can cause some serious reactions in some people.
Now, those "some people" might be the ones with asthma as has been suggested. I don't have any suggestions except keep asking around and doing research and base your decisions on that (keeping in mind the difference between proven fact and heresay).

Posted on: Fri, 11/10/2006 - 11:18pm
Shuleran's picture
Joined: 07/25/2004 - 09:00

My 8 year old daughter is highly PA and numerous other allergies including horses. She was not initially tested for horses because so many other grass, weeds, hay, trees, ect... were positive. I have horses and never touched her after riding because of the chance of grass and hay contact. One day, she touched me and had a major allergic reaction. We had her tested in the office and BOOM--big reaction to the testing.
Anyway, my child has been on allergy shots for almost a year. We wait 30 minutes after each shot no matter what. She takes 11 different allergy desentization things in 4 total injections each week. The shots have immensely improved her life. It was a good decision despite a lot of inconvienence. We do not do horse desensitization because it is supposed to be difficult to complete and not that effective. Just my opinion.
[This message has been edited by Shuleran (edited November 11, 2006).]

Posted on: Sat, 11/11/2006 - 12:38am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

DH and I both have mild allergies to horses (and many other furry creatures).
But DD.... she gets allergy shots for aeroallergens. Our allergist feels that it is by far the best thing to do, especially for a kid like her. It is our chance to potentially halt or at least alter the trajectory of the allergic march in her.
With that said, she waits 20 minutes after each shot, and has had her dose "backed down" twice because of problems. She has probably had Epi drawn on her about a dozen times in a year. We have to allow at least an hour any time we go in for a shot. She has experienced very mild anaphylactic symptoms to her shots. (And this with a large dose of zyrtec [i]and[/i] singulair.)
The shots have definitely helped, however-- she barely needed any meds for her airways this grass pollen season. And we get (locally) the highest grass pollen counts on earth. (Literally-- it is a seed growing area.) It was a like a miracle that she could play outside in June this year without coughing and wheezing and her eyes tearing up.


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