Hay Fever and Its Impact on Pets and Horses

Hay Fever and Its Impact on Pets and Horses

20th Jun 2024

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a common allergic reaction to airborne pollen. While it primarily affects humans, pets, including dogs, cats, and horses, can also suffer from hay fever. In animals, hay fever can manifest in various ways, often leading to discomfort and health issues if not managed properly.

Symptoms of Hay Fever in Horses 

When a horse suffers from hay fever, the symptoms can include: 

  • Respiratory Issues: Coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. 
  • Nasal Discharge: Clear or yellowish mucus. 
  • Itchy Eyes: Redness, tearing, and rubbing of the eyes. 
  • Skin Reactions: Itching, hives, or dermatitis. 
  • Behavioural Changes: Irritability or reduced performance due to discomfort.

These symptoms can affect a horse's overall health and performance, making it essential to identify and manage hay fever effectively.

Managing Hay Fever in Horses

Environmental Management:

  • Reduce Exposure to Pollen: Keep horses indoors during peak pollen times, mainly in the day and turn them out in the evening. However, this may not always be possible so providing shelter or an area were pollen exposure can be reduced will still help. Stable Management: Ensure good ventilation in stables to minimize dust and pollen accumulation.
  • Regular Cleaning: Regularly clean stables, bedding, and surrounding areas to reduce allergens.

Diet and Nutrition:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Supplements like flaxseed oil or fish oil can help reduce inflammation and improve coat health.
  • Antioxidants: Vitamins C and E can boost the immune system and help combat allergic reactions.

Medications and Supplements:

  • Antihistamines: Can be prescribed by a veterinarian to reduce allergic reactions.
  • Corticosteroids: In severe cases, corticosteroids may be used to control inflammation.
  • Herbal Remedies: Natural supplements like quercetin and bromelain have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties that may help alleviate symptoms.

We recommend Easy Breathing Powder by NAF

Regular Grooming:

  • Bathing: Regular bathing can help remove pollen from the horse's coat.
  • Fly Masks and Sheets: Using fly masks and sheets can help protect horses from airborne allergens.

Veterinary Care:

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help monitor the horse's condition and adjust treatment plans as needed.

Supplements for Hay Fever in Horses

Several supplements can support horses suffering from hay fever: 

  • Spirulina: This blue-green algae is known for its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • Bee Pollen: Gradual introduction of local bee pollen can help build immunity to local allergens. 
  • MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane): An organic sulfur compound that can help reduce inflammation and improve respiratory health. 

We recommend Pollen Eze by American Equine


Hay fever can significantly impact the health and performance of horses. By understanding the symptoms and implementing effective management strategies, including environmental control, dietary adjustments, regular grooming, and the use of supplements, owners can help alleviate the discomfort associated with hay fever and improve their horses' well-being. Regular veterinary care is crucial to tailor treatments to the individual needs of each horse and ensure optimal health management. If in doubt, always consult your VET for any recommendations.