When I returned from my ride on Monday, Freedom was covered with hives. They were mostly around his throat latch but they spread out in diminishing intensity across his body.
My first thought was, “did I miss those when I groomed him?” But no, they were pretty large and angry looking. They certainly were not there when I’d left.
My next thought was how to treat them. Luckily I had a severe allergic reaction to either a bite or a poisonous plant over the summer (like horse, like owner) so I had an industrial size bottle of allergy tablets from Costco. A quick call to the vet on the dosage revealed that the “average” horse should get 10 tablets twice a day.
By the time I’d gone home to get the pills, the bumps had subsided but I gave him a dose regardless.
Yesterday the vet was at the barn to look at another horse and I asked her about the hives. She reported that several people had reported breakouts of hives over the past week or so and she suspected that either a certain insect had just hatched or a plant had bloomed.
Riding yesterday I focused in on the swarms of mosquitoes and gnats. My bet is on them. In fact, that might explain the magical swarm of dragonflies that I saw on Monday — the aftermath of Irene was a huge number of mosquitoes. I hope those dragonflies keep on eating!