Example of lumps under the skin
If you do suspect a feed allergy, an elimination diet is by far the best action. This involves removing all hard feed from the diet for at least 4 weeks, monitoring the ‘reaction’ and then reintroducing feeds one at a time to see if the reaction returns. If it does, this would suggest that the horse is allergic to something in that feed and alternative can be tried. Skin or blood tests are available but unfortunately research to date has shown these to be unreliable.
Lumps and bumps are one of the most common reasons for suspecting feed allergies. However temperature, pollens, clipper oil, mites in forage or bedding or detergents used to clean rugs and numnahs are often the culprit and changes to feed (if any), often prove to be coincidental.