Cierra's allergic reaction first showed up in 2017 as odd labored breathing. The vet did a garbage bag breathing test on her. Cierra's lungs were normal. Once in a great while, the labored breathing would resurface briefly. Nothing alarming that prevented her from an otherwise normal life. If the odd breathing popped up, she would get time off, ride lightly or whatever best fit the situation and her needs.
However, Cierra's difficulty breathing normal resurfaced more significantly last year. You may recall the dusty 2019 AQHA WI State horse show that brought it on full force. Brad decided to have her allergy tested. Something I highly recommend. It is ideal to know what you are dealing with, the results explain a lot and give direction on effective management.
I always thought her compromised breathing was related to spending the vast majority of her time in a heated older show barn, shared with multiple cats and a bunny (phew, it was eventually re-homed). I've never been a fan of heated barns, and was right in part but the test results proved it was much more.
When Cierra's results came back, we were surprised that she was allergic to no less then 34 different things!! Not all cause symptoms, but still...34...gulp! In comparison, Nemo's results came back with just 4 allergens and he had soooo many struggles.
Cierra's higher allergens come from multiple grasses, Marsh Elder weed, Pyrethrum (an insecticide) and some insects, as well as Alfalfa, Apple and Carrots - this explains why she didn't like our fresh treats!!
Cierra is a candidate for allergy shots, but with a few simple adjustments her breathing symptoms have not resurfaced. Brad is holding off on allergy shot treatment. The main thing that changed, is her food. She was switched to grass hay. They also relocated Cierra to a different location in the show barn. Now she lives in a more open stall, and not directly across from the 6-8 alfalfa hay bales they restock. I was so happy to hear these changes made a big difference!!
I have no doubt in my mind, when Cierra moves home it will be even better for her and she won't need allergy shots at all.
|re-sharing Cierra's 2019 calendar debut|