React. Equine Allergy Clinic

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The Clinic

REACT Equine Allergy Clinic has pioneered the use of allergy neutralisation in horses although it is used worldwide for human allergies. Cases are referred to the clinic from vets all over the UK and visits can be made overseas to treat horses. The cases treated are generally longstanding and poorly controlled by the usual medications. Indeed for most of the horses it is the last resort for their desperate owners.

Veterinarian Mike Burrell became interested in the application of allergy neutralisation in 1992 after talking to Dr John Mansfield who used the technique in his human allergy clinic. It coincided with him dealing with a particularly severe case of COPD in a pony that had not responded to the usual dust free management, bronchodilators (Ventipulmin) and corticosteroids. This pony was only 12 years old but it's breathing was so badly affected that she could not even maintain a trot for more than a few strides before going into respiratory distress. The situation was so extreme that euthanasia on humane grounds was being actively considered. So, she was used as a "guinea pig" and the skin testing and treatment was carried out with the aid of Dr John Mansfield and his Senior Nurse Bridget Valler. Remarkably, that pony responded so well to the treatment that she was out mock hunting 6 weeks later.

Having a background in research, Mike had a healthy scepticism of the possibility that this technique would work, but after this first case he was so impressed that the decision was made to trial it on more horses. The results continued to impress and lead to the first published scientific paper on its use in 56 horses in the peer reviewed Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine in 1998 ("Treatment of Equine Allergic Diseases with Allergy Neutralisation. A Field Study". Vol 8, pages 329-334).

To date, over 400 horses have been treated in this unique way. Mike Burrell was invited to share his experience with allergy neutralisation by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and presented a paper to delegates at their Clinical Meeting at Sutton Coldfield in 1997 entitled "Allergen Neutralisation: A novel therapy in the horse" and again at their 2002 Annual Congress entitled "Neutralisation Therapy: What is it and does it work?" (Click to download)

Mike Burrell has lectured on the subject extensively and articles featuring the clinic have been published in Horse and Hound, Your Horse and The Evening Standard. 

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