Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Skin: food hypersensitivity

Synonym(s): Food allergy, adverse food reaction

Contributor(s): Rosanna Marsella, David Senter

Introduction

  • Cause: skin disease triggered by ingestion of a substance found in the horses diet.
  • Signs: urticaria, pruritis, scaling/crusting.
  • Diagnosis: food trial, skin scraping.
  • Treatment: avoidance of allergen, glucocorticoids, antihistamines.
  • Prognosis: good.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Food allergens or nutritional supplements.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Previous history of atopic disease   Skin: atopy  .

Pathophysiology

  • Several types of hypersensitivity may develop to food allergens.
  • The most commonly accepted is type I hypersensitivity.
  • IgE are produced against allergens contained in the horses diet (usually proteins). IgE bind to mast cells and upon re-exposure   →   mast cell degranulation and release of histamine and other mediators, eg prostaglandins and leukotrienes. These mediators   →    recruitment of inflammatory cells, eg eosinophils, in the skin.

Timecourse

  • Sensitization occurs over a long period of time, usually many years. During this period of time the animal is exposed to the antigen but it does not develop clinical signs.
  • Once sensitization has occurred symptoms can be triggered within minutes to hours from the exposure to the offending food, depending on the type of hypersensitivity that is involved.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Volland-Francqueville M & Sabbah A (2004)Recurrent or chronic urticaria in thoroughbred race-horses: clinical observations.Allerg Immunol36(1), 9-12 PubMed.
  • Francqueville M & Sabbah A (1999)Chronic urticaria in sports horses.Allerg Immunol31(6), 212-213 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Scott D W & Miller W H (2003)Equine Dermatology. W B Saunders. pp 453-458.


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