Can a horse be cured of a pollen allergy?

When pollen starts floating in the air again in the spring and summer, your horse may suffer from hay fever. Some horses experience symptoms earlier in the year, for example, from blooming trees. Other horses are more sensitive to grasses and shrubs that bloom later in the year. How can you support your horse if he has symptoms, and can a pollen allergy be cured?


11 June '24 2 min reading time

An allergy is nothing more or less than an exaggerated reaction of the immune system to certain substances, also known as allergens. Specific cells in the blood, called mast cells, play an important role in this process. They trigger a defense mechanism against the perceived intruder, in this case, an allergen. Horses or people with a pollen allergy will then cough, sneeze, and have a runny nose. The allergic reaction of the mast cells causes small inflammations in the airways and mucous membranes.

Can an allergy be cured?

Sometimes allergies like hay fever or pollen allergies disappear on their own; you can outgrow them. But this is not always the case. Although there are therapies for people that can make allergies less severe, they don't work for everyone. These hyposensitization treatments are not available for horses. Some allergies are also related to the hormone balance. This means that as hormones change, the sensitivity to allergens can also change. An allergy can also suddenly develop later in life. So, true healing is often not an option, but fortunately, you can often suppress allergic symptoms.

Measures for pollen allergy

If your horse has a pollen allergy, you can do a few things.

  • Use a pollen mask or nose net in the pasture
  • Use a pollen net on the bridle during training and/or riding outdoors
  • Avoid pollen by keeping the horse indoors/training and only going outside after a heavy rain has washed the pollen away
  • Support the immune system and keep the resistance high
  • Support the airways
  • If symptoms persist, medication is an option

Of course, it is not pleasant for a horse to be indoors a lot, so anything you can improve with the help of other measures is beneficial!

Supporting the immune system

To support your horse's immune system, you can do several things. First, it is advisable to give your horse a detox twice a year (if the horse is otherwise healthy) or a course of nettles four times a year. This helps to remove waste products and maintain resistance. Second, you can use plant cannabinoids, preferably from the clove plant. This is good for the body's balance and has anti-inflammatory effects. But clove also works very specifically on allergies by combating two types of substances that are important in the development of an allergic reaction. Cannabinoids from clove can help suppress these cytokines and chemokines. These substances come from mast cells, and when mast cells are overactive, allergic reactions occur.

Conclusion: pollen allergy cannot be cured, but it can be managed

Can a pollen allergy be cured? The answer is actually ‘no,’ although the allergy can decrease over the years. By supporting the immune system, you can ensure that your horse suffers less from it. In particular, clove is an effective supplement for this. It activates the horse's self-healing ability, reduces inflammation, and helps to keep most of the symptoms under control. Additionally, you can use pollen nets on the halter and bridle if necessary.

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