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Dermatological investigations

Dermatological Investigations For Horses

Skin issues are very common in horses. They can be frustrating with many different treatments being attempted before involving a vet.

Problems that can be investigated at the Oakhill Equine Clinic include:

  • Recurrent hives (urticaria)
  • Itchiness (pruritis)
  • Loss of hair (alopecia)
  • Scaling and crusting
  • Skin masses
  • Pigment changes

We can conduct all the diagnostic methods detailed below at our clinic and consult specialists where necessary.

Skin scrapings & hair plucks:

These samples can be examined under a microscope at the clinic and are useful to help identify parasites within the superficial skin layers.

Skin biopsies:

These can be performed under standing sedation and with local anaesthetic. The sample can then be submitted to specialist laboratories to examine under a microscope. The small wounds heal very quickly.

Blood allergy testing:

Your horse’s blood can be tested to identify what it may be allergic to. This can then help to guide avoidance of the allergen. However, sometimes this isn’t possible so a specific immunotherapy vaccine can be made from these results.

Intra-dermal allergy skin testing:

This can be performed at the clinic and involves a two day stay. A small clipped patch is made on one side of the horse’s neck and a panel of 44 allergens is injected with small needles into the skin of the neck under sedation. The reaction of the skin is measured over the next 24 hours. Allergens that the horse has reacted too can then be used in a vaccine to reduce the horses allergic response.

If you have any concerns about your horse’s skin, please contact us.

Dermatological Investigations for Horses: allergic skin reaction (uritcaria)

Image shows allergic skin reaction of a horse (uritcaria)


Dermatological Investigations for Horses: Intradermal allergy testing

Intradermal allergy testing: Image shows the injection of multiple allergens into the skin of the horses neck.