Sensitivity Of Horses To Insect Bites

Itchy Horse

Scientists at the Wageningen University in The Netherlands are working on a cure for horse insect bite hypersensitivity.

Their research has led them to clone certain proteins in insects in the hope that these easily collected proteins can produce a cure.

As a result of current testing, scientists have developed an accurate test to diagnose insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH).

While it is not life threatening, horses are made very uncomfortable by the constant itch. Some horses are affected so severely, they must be euthanized.

Treatment now consists of using insect sprays, insect sheets, keeping horses in the stable during the hours when insects are most active. Topical steroid and antihistamine creams are used but do not always relieve the itching to any great degree.

Treatment with the cloned proteins requires repeated administration of the allergens until sensitivity is reduced. Research continues into the development of immunotherapy protocols.

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