If your horse has insect bite hypersensitivity, which is a skin allergy to tiny flies, other allergies are more likely too — especially those involving the respiratory tract.
In particular, results of a recent study suggest that horses with insect bite hypersensitivity may be poised to develop equine asthma down the road. Researchers used a histamine challenge test to show that horses with a history of insect bite allergy may have airway hypersensitivity — a key sign of equine asthma — even if they don’t show any clinical respiratory signs.
These multiple hypersensitivities may have genetic connection. But for now, the take-home message is much simpler: If a horse with insect bite hypersensitivity starts coughing, develops nasal discharge or demonstrates labored breathing, equine asthma should be top of mind.