March 23, 2009

Hold the hay, horse is allergic to grass

A British woman said her horse has to be covered in clothing while outside due to a highly unusual allergy for the species -- an adverse reaction to grass.

Emily Pearce, 24, of Henley-on-Thames, England, said Pandora the mare needs to be covered in a high-tech polyester-based breathable fabric when around grass because a single leaf touching her coat can cause painful boils and troubled breathing for the animal, the Daily Mail reported Monday.

She does look silly but it is the only thing that helps her, Pearce said of Pandora's clothing ensemble.

Pearce said the horse also wears a mask to protect her eyes and is fed 15 anti-histamine tablets every day. Pandora's hay-free diet consists of sugar beet chaff and soya oil.

Veterinarian Peter Fenton said he has encountered two other cases of horses with grass allergies, but neither matched the severity of Pandora's condition.