What a nightmare! Meet the horse who’s allergic to hay
It’s a total ‘mare for anyone when hayfever strikes – but pity poor Andalusian Chanquette – the HORSE who’s allergic to grass.
The gorgeous grey gelding is so allergic to grass and hay that he is left covered in itchy hives if he’s exposed to any hay or grass – and to make matters worse, he’s also allergic to OATS.
But clever owner Sarah Hutchinson, 56, has managed to source a special outfit for Chanquette – covering him from head to toe – meaning he can run around the field with his friends.
After concerned owner Sarah, from Stillington, North Yorks, noticed him scratching and rubbing frequently after his arrival from Spain, Chanquette tested positive for allergies to oats, barley and rye as well as tress, moulds, insects, dust mites and storage mites.
Contact with any of these things, which are extremely prevalent in the stable environment as well as in grass, can cause Chanquette lots of pain, as riding instructor Sarah explains.
“His nose gets all weepy, there’s lots of sneezing and he scratches a lot, making him very sore so it’s not a good state for him to be in,” she said.
“We have to be very careful with what we expose him to; we have to wet his hay and feed him special food with no oats, barley or rye in it.
“His stable also needs to be sprayed with fly repellent before he goes in it to kill all the mites and insects, otherwise his glands will swell up and cause him a lot of pain.
“It is a lot of work but it’s worth it to keep Chanquette as healthy as possible.”
Chanquette arrived in England from Spain four years ago and Sarah says her suspicions were aroused when he “didn’t turn out well” in her field.
“We noticed he was a bit thin, not very well turned out and that he began to scratch and rub his main a lot more than normal,” she said.
“He had his regular flu jab and we brought up these concerns with the vet, who said they had a good allergy test we could try out as he was showing all the signs.
“We couldn’t believe he was allergic to pretty much everything horses come into contact with and it’s a great shame for him but it’s one of those things, you just have to get on with it I suppose.”
However, while she spends upwards of £100 every couple of months on fly repellent and herbal supplements to keep his immune system working well, Sarah says Chanquette doesn’t let his allergies bother him and tries to be “as normal as possible”.
“It is a shame to see him have to wear this rug but it’s for the best in order to make sure he’s well,” she said.
“It doesn’t seem to bother him too much; he behaves in the way a horse his age should do.
“His character hasn’t changed either; he tries to be as normal as possible.”