Equine Environmental & Insect Allergy

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Environmental Screens

Our Environmental Indicator Screen is a cost effective solution if you suspect allergic disease which includes 5 panels; grasses, weeds, trees, indoor & insects.

You will receive the results within 5 – 7 days of receipt of the sample.

Interpreting results 

Using the same ELISA based technology as our existing allergy tests, the results will show positive/negative results to the mixed allergy panels. Dependent on the result, it then allows elimination of negatives and detailed investigation of the positive panels. This provides an economic method of work-up and an excellent precursor to allergen-specific immunotherapy treatment.

Next steps

• Investigation of positive panels can be requested using the panel selection form, included with your results.

Environmental Panels

SENSITEST provides an IgE score indicating a possible hypersensitivity to environmental allergens. The class score of 0-5 indicates the elevated level of antibodies and can aid therapeutic decisions.

ENVIRONMENTAL

GRASS POLLENS

  • Rye, perennial
  • Timothy
  • Orchard Grass (cocksfoot)
  • Sweet Vernal
  • Meadow Fescue
  • Meadow Grass (Kentucky bluegrass)

 

WEED POLLENS

  • Plantain
  • Mugwort
  • Ragweed
  • Dock, yellow/curly
  • Lamb’s Quarter
  • Daisy
  • Dandelion
  • Nettle
  • Clover
  • Oil Seed Rape

TREE POLLENS

  • Alder
  • Birch
  • Hazel
  • Privet
  • Oak
  • Beech
  • Ash
  • Scots Pine
  • Willow
  • Horse Chestnut
  • Sycamore

INSECTS

  • Culicoides
  • Black Fly
  • Mosquito
  • Horse Fly
  • Stable Fly
  • House Fly

INDOOR ALLERGENS

  • Alternaria alternata
  • Aspergillus mix
  • Cladosporium herbarum
  • Penicillium mix
  • Grain Mill Dust
  • D. pteronyssinus
  • D. farinae
  • E. mayneii
  • L. destructor
  • A. siro
  • T. putrescentiae

TREATMENT OF ALLERGIES

The SENSITEST results provide a useful tool for the veterinary surgeon and horse owner to aid in the diagnosis and indicate the most suitable actions to take.

If environmental allergens, such as insects or pollens are pinpointed, avoiding or controlling these is more difficult, but there are methods of reducing the exposure.

Immunotherapy is the foremost treatment for environmental/insect allergens but other medication may be required for certain cases.

IMMUNOTHERAPY TREATMENT

The aim of allergen-specific immunotherapy or desensitisation vaccines is to make the horse tolerant to the environmental allergens responsible for their symptoms by introducing increasing amounts of the allergens to which they are sensitive. Culicoides can also be included as part of the immunotherapy treatment set. It is one of the safest and most effective treatments for allergy and unlike other therapies targets the root cause of the allergy and provides long term relief from the symptoms.

The treatment is administered by subcutaneous injection. Adverse reactions are exceptionally rare. The initial treatment lasts for 10 months with a dosage regime that gradually increases until the maximum tolerate dose is reached. This is followed by the maintenance treatment.

The length of time for a response to be seen varies from horse to horse but differs between 4 and 12 months. Treatment may be continued for life as premature discontinuation may result in the symptoms recurring.

Allergen-specific immunotherapy has a very good success rate and obviates the need for long term medication such as steroids which can have serious side effects.