Mystery allergic reactions?

This is the second time I’ve had an allergic reaction. The reaction starts with sudden itching in the mouth, this time my nose immediately began to run. A few minutes later I started feeling really itchy, especially my hands. Had some bumps start on my hip area that looks like bug bites, but could be hives. We do have fleas, and I did handle hay. Also went in and out of the garage and poured some chicken feed- not sure that is related but I suppose I could have inhaled some dust?

The first time this happened I had unloaded hay and went inside and started painting the house. I thought at the time it was an allergic reaction to the paint (and having paint on my hands).

I also wrote on the marker board and used a permanent marker to label some feed containers. Not sure you can be allergic to markers?

The last time this happened I was severely itchy for about 5 hours. Immediately went to the doctor the next day and was give a Prednisone pack and an Eqi-pen.

I did handle lysol earlier in the day when I cleaned the bathroom and I didn’t wear gloves. Not sure that would cause an issue so delayed. If I can’t figure out what is causing this, It is going to keep happening.

Thrips maybe?

We had some fresh bales of hay with those and we had similar reaction as you to those pesky things.
You get bites around the top of your socks and around your middle, on your arms and hands, where those little tiny bugs you can’t really see end up when lifting bales.
We dosed with Off before touching those bales and that kept them away.

You may try the Farm or Off Course forums, more traffic there.
Some may have similar experiences and can help you find out more what this may be?

Someone I know had random , severe allergy like you describe and turns out she had developed alpha-gal allergy. Allergies can start any time in life. If you have tick bite history, you might ask your doctor about this


I had mysterious symptoms. It was alpha gal. I’m reactive to eating mammal meat. It can take a few hours to react and it can be quote serious. An allergist tested me. I have no recollection of any tick bites in several years but it is what it is…

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If it’s severe enough you need an Epi-pen, you might want to get tested. It’s really difficult to determine what specific substance it is without testing, because allergies can be ridiculously specific. I have friends allergic to propylene glycol in food, red dye, flea dander (but not animals). Not all the same person! But it’s hard to isolate exposure “in the real world.”

Hives look pretty different from bug bites, usually, though (at least on me). Do you have any known allergies or rheumatic issues?


I am surprised that an Epi-pen, which is a serious drug, would be dispensed without any effort to follow on and actually diagnose the allergen.

Epi-pens are NOT just a faster form of Benadryl . It seems a little short sighted

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I agree it seems short-sighted, although sometimes allergic reactions are a one-off thing (having gotten tested by a dermatologist after a skin reaction) and also doctors who aren’t specialists don’t have much of a desire to probe more deeply. Actual allergy testing can be pretty intense, and you’d have to go to a specialist.

Indeed, a referral or urging to seek specialized care should have been emphasized

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Being the first issue a itch in your mouth I would believe it is something you ate or inhaled but definitely you have to get tested, allergic reactions tend to increase every time you get in contact with the allergene. Both times you handled hay so maybe it’s something in there

Unfortunately, it’s possible to do all of the testing and have the MDs conclude that it is idiopathic, meaning “beats the hell out of me.”

I’ve been carrying an Epi-pen for several years, had to use it a few times and never found a cause.

If they CAN find a positive correlation, it will be nicer for you. Good luck.

It hasn’t happened again at least. I suspect it was something in the hay, other than hay itself. I have handled the hay many times lately without issue. The only thing I know I have had reactions to in the past are bug bites. So that is my best suspicion. I have been allergy tested before and only tested positive for dust mites. I have been careful about changing clothes and showering after feeding the horses.