The Pruritic/Hivey Horse: Allergies and Urticaria, and Ectoparasites

By Stephen D. White, DVM, DACVD

The Pruritic/Hivey HorseThe allergic skin diseases in the horse that are non-arthropod-bite related are atopic dermatitis (atopy), food allergy, and contact allergy. The history of the dermatitis is very important in determining which of these three is most likely in any particular horse. A seasonal pruritus, especially affecting the face and trunk, would be most consistent with atopic dermatitis to pollens; year-round pruritus would be more consistent with an atopic dermatitis as a reaction to molds or barn dust, or a food allergy. Episodes of pruritus that occur after topical treatments of shampoos, dips, etc. would be consistent with a contact allergy. The author finds true food allergy in horses to be very rare; this may be a reflection of practicing in a primarily referral practice, whereas cases of food allergy (real or presumed) are often diagnosed by the owner and/or the local veterinarian.


Course objectives:

With the successful completion of this course, students will increase their knowledge of

  • atopic dermatitis: science, clinical signs, diagnosis, common positive allergens, Rx (hyposensitization, other treatments)
  • food allergies
  • contact dermatitis
  • urticaria
  • otitis
  • ectoparasites

This two-part course consists of one proceedings paper and the accompanying 2019 AAEP Convention presentation. The video has been split into four parts for ease of download and viewing; as one video part concludes, the next will unlock.

You must view all sections of the course before the quiz will unlock.

Continuing education credit:

  • 1.5 credit hours Medical, Non-interactive/Anytime, with a passing score of at least 70%

Approximate duration:

  • 1.5 hours: read the paper, view the presentation, complete the quiz


  • Read the paper from the 2019 AAEP Convention proceedings, approximately 5,000 words
  • View the presentation from the 2019 AAEP Convention, 1 hours
  • Complete quiz
The Pruritic/Hivey Horse: Allergies and Urticaria, and Ectoparasites01:30:50
View presentation, part 1 00:16:00
View presentation, part 2 00:13:30
View presentation, part 3 00:14:20
View presentation, part 4 00:17:00
Read the paper from the 2019 AAEP Convention proceedings 00:30:00
Pass the quiz to earn CE credit
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