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Testing & Treatment for Equine Allergy Relief

Animals living in our region of the northwest are susceptible to a wide variety of allergens, and horses are no exception. Allergic skin disease can severely impair the performance of competition horses and cause discomfort and disability in pleasure horses. While identification of the specific allergens can be difficult, an accurate diagnosis requires:

Equine Allergy Relief at Columbia Equine Hospital

  • A detailed patient history
  • Assessment of the horse’s environmental surroundings
  • A full clinical examination

Some allergies can be managed with environmental changes and suppressive therapy. More severe or chronic cases require testing and identification of the specific allergens.

Columbia Equine Hospital offers two types of allergy testing:

  • Serum allergy testing (SAT)—Measures elevated levels of IgE antibodies in the blood to region-specific allergens. SAT is a convenient and economical diagnostic option.
  • In-house intradermal testing (IDT)—Our veterinarians also consult with board-certified dermatologists to offer IDT testing, considered the gold standard for diagnosing equine atopy (skin allergies) and food allergies. IDT requires a hospital visit, sedation, clipping of the neck for subcutaneous injections of specific allergens and grading the horse’s response to these allergens. IDT is the more specific test and provides a more accurate diagnosis.

Based on the findings of these tests, horses undergo immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a safe and effective long-term treatment that gradually builds the horse’s immunity to the specific allergens that are causing discomfort. Injections with increasing amounts of allergen are given to the horse by the owner, until the horse develops resistance to the allergens.

If your horse is experiencing symptoms associated with allergies, such as those listed below, please schedule an exam to determine which diagnostics and treatments are needed:

  • Cough
  • Hair loss
  • Hives
  • Itching (rubbing main and/or tail)
  • Watery eyes
  • Swelling along the midline of the belly


“Competent and helpful.”

“Professional and compassionate.”

“I have been using CEH for years, and I have 100% faith in them.”

“I always have a great experience with them.”

“I recommend them for all your horses medical needs.”

“We always have a good visit when we take our horses to Columbia Equine!”

“Columbia Equine has a wonderful staff of professionals & state of the art equipment.”

“They're focused on the well being of the animals more than anything else. They educate the customer and are helpful in many aspects, I recommend them all the time!”

– Marlene

“Blessed am I to have this great vet team behind me and my pony thank you Columbia Equine Hospital! You rock!”

– Lauren

“Thank you for the great addition to your already top notch staff at Columbia Equine. We love you guys!”

“Amazing vets and beautiful facility. I've had my horses under their care before and they do an awesome job! I would recommend any of my fellow horse friends to take their horses there.”

“I can not begin thank Dr. Hanson and staff for the amazing care they gave my horse...”

“My initial conversation was with Alexis, me asking a lot of questions, she providing a lot of professional answers and setting up an appointment for a farm visit later that day, to Dr. Rioux-Forker showing up on time, listening to the problems we are having with our OTTB, Leon, asking thoughtful questions, and suggesting helpful solutions, we were very happy with every interaction we had with the staff at Columbia Equine Hospital. Very helpful. Very professional. Very experienced. And reasonably priced. Thank you!”