Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Horse treated for grass allergy

Pandora the horse
Pandora has to wear a specially-designed coat and eye mask

A horse is having to be kept covered up after it developed an allergy to grass.

Emily Pearce, from Henley-on-Thames, has owned five-year-old Pandora for the past two years.

She said she first noticed the horse becoming unwell last year when Pandora developed large boils and breathing problems after touching the grass.

"During the summer she has to come in and stay in through the day, which also means she can't be ridden," Ms Pearce said.

'Living in hope'

Pandora, a thoroughbred, now has to remain covered up with a coat made of protective layer of polyester-based breathable fabric.

She also has to wear a mask to protect her eyes.

Ms Pearce said she had to feed Pandora a special mixture of sugarbeet chuff and soya oil to help the allergy, and her diet was accompanied with 15 antihistamine tablets a day.

Vets said it was not clear what had caused Pandora's condition.

"We're living in hope, because it is a very difficult condition to manage," Ms Pearce said.

"She's a very talented horse and we're hoping to do well with her in events, so that's why I'm keeping her - because she is special".

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