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Help! Mare constantly itching tail

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    Help! Mare constantly itching tail

    Hello everyone! I have a mare who will not stop itching her tail bone and she is ultimately ruining her tail and bruising herself. Her tail is becoming a patchy mess and her skin is turning raw (not to the point of bleeding YET) I have tried wormer for pinworms and I have tried washing her tail and cleaning "under there" the best I could to remove any dirt. None of this worked.

    We have trees in our pasture so even if I starting using electricity on the fences, it wouldn't stop the itching. She only uses trees anyways.

    I wouldn't be very concerned with this because she isn't making herself bleed, but I am crazy about keeping manes and tails to perfection. I braid her mane and wash it almost once a week. I also braid her tail in the winter and I am currently waiting for a new tail bag in the mail .

    Does anyone else have experience with this and have any ideas of what could be going on? Any tips on cleaning her tail and "under there"? Maybe I'm just not cleaning it correctly? Thank you so much.

    #2
    There are a few things I'd check. I'd make sure her nutrition is balanced and if she is getting enough omega-3s in her diet. You could also have a fecal egg count done on her to check if your dewormers have gotten everything.
    The other thing that came to mind is that it could be an allergy. Is this something that has occurred recently or around the year?

    My horse was very bad at rubbing his tail and body a few years ago and actually was so bad that he bent the stall boards (in the middle) outward and the BO had to reinforce things . I also tried the things you have listed. I've come to conclude that it was allergies/ not enough oils in the diet. When I moved barns, he soon stopped itching, although he does occasionally do so with a little sigh of relief, but definitely no where near the amount he had.

    Comment


      #3
      I discovered two sources of itchiness with my tail rubbing mare: 1-crud on / between her tits, 2-ticks in her tail. I use an anti-tick product (Ovitrol) sprayed into the hairs all along her tail bone and regular cleaning of her udder with baby wipes. I also use a lanolin-based hair care product sprayed directly on her tail bone. These measures have mostly stopped the tail rubbing.

      *star*
      "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
      - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

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        #4
        What my vet told me: Wash with flea shampoo, to kill the mites that cause the itching. They feed on the flaking skin. Then, shampoo with dandruff shampoo to help keep the flakes away. This worked wonders for my old gelding who was doing the same!

        Aside from that, worming -- look further into it because I seem to recall some saying to put it directly into/around the anus? (DO NOT take my word for it, do some research). I normally worm (orally) with Ivermectin/Praziquantel products, but I opted to do an 'in between' worming with Strongid.

        Allergies? Again, might be skin mites? Hard to say.

        Cleaning the lady parts - wash her udder well and maybe dry it with a towel rather than let it be wet.

        Otherwise, from your post you might be bathing too much. Rinsing, fine, but washing so much? Maybe not.

        Desitin (max strength 40% zinc oxide) would make a mess but is effective at alleviating rashes and skin irritations.

        You could also try a spray with Tea Tree oil in it, might help.

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          Thank you so far! I will definitely use a flea shampoo for the mites. I'm sure we have some lying around. Next time we venture to the store I will also try and find some head and shoulders or something for the flakes. I will also try to really clean her udder and maybe try the tick product mentioned. At this point, I'll try anything!

          Comment


            #6
            Small gnat like creatures (commonly called "no-see-ums down here because they are so tiny), are a problem in the South. Cleaning the tail well and using Listerine will help or a very good fly spray product. Good luck - poor girl. BTW - If she already has a constant itching issue, anything will exacerbate it - you might need some steroids - topical and oral/injectable to get past the cycle/habit. Good luck!
            Last edited by TKR; Jun. 1, 2020, 10:33 AM. Reason: to clarify

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              #7
              Break the itch cycle with Derma-Smoothe, and also try to figure out if she has tight/painful hamstrings. After 2 years of trying to keep my horse from rubbing his tail with everything under the sun, I know now that his butt muscles hurt and he wants massage.

              Comment


                #8
                This time of year is bad allergy season. I would try 10-12 Benadryl, you can crush them and top dress. My mare gets an itchy tail this time of year too and Benadryl helps her.
                Also check fecal counts, clean her udders well, and if it doesn’t stop call the vet as she may have a vaginal infection.

                Edited to add: wrap her tail bone with vet wrap to preserve her tail fibers. Just not too tight.

                Comment


                  #9
                  TKR is right, Listerine (original yellow) works wonders. You can soak the base of the mane and tail, bonus it also detangles!

                  And maybe a steroid cream, you can buy OTC hydrocortisone 1% anti-itch relief. That may help.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I’ve found that when they do this it’s not the actual tail that’s itchy it’s the tear area. If my mare gets crud between her teats and she will itch her whole tail off. I use swat to keep the bugs away and prevent the itching as well.

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                      #11
                      Also check way up between her hind legs--they can really get some dirty sweaty stuff there.

                      But if you try everything and she's still doing it...this is part of my old lady's c spine arthritis. Best guess is the problem in her neck causes some neuropathy in her hind end, and bug season just really triggers it. There is really nothing I can do, but keeping her tail covered (fly sheet with tail flap), her tail clean and conditioned, and all of her various parts clean minimizes the damage.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Obsidian Fire View Post

                        Aside from that, worming -- look further into it because I seem to recall some saying to put it directly into/around the anus? (DO NOT take my word for it, do some research). I normally worm (orally) with Ivermectin/Praziquantel products, but I opted to do an 'in between' worming with Strongid.
                        I had a horse that was rubbing his tail. He had been wormed with Ivermectin before I got him and Power Pac after I got him and he still rubbed his tail. I used a tube of ivermectin in and around his anus about 3 weeks apart. He stopped rubbing and is fine 3 years later. I couldn't see any pinworms but I had 2 tubes of ivermectin that were both about 1 month expired so I figured it can't hurt and was free.

                        Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Buy 2 tubes of Anthelicide EQ. Use one tube 4 weeks after the other. Apply the original Listerine to the tail but not to the dock. Keep the dock and teat area clean

                          Getchia on eBay sells big bags of chia seeds good for horses and humans

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My horse itches every summer since she moved to a valley with lots of bugs. She swells up from bug bites. What has worked the best is a fly sheet that covers her from neck to tail that she wears all of the time, Microtek equine spray for skin problems that I rub into the base of her mane and tail, fly spray and swat when I am riding. I also started her on the smartpak itch-ease supplement last summer and put her on it again this year thought I am never sure how much it helps. She is also on a ration balancer with omega-3's and a fat supplement which has improved her skin. I think the fly sheet made the biggest difference though. It has a liner on the neck and tail areas so even if she rubs she doesn't lose hair.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              My mare has been doing this most of her life.

                              The ONLY thing that helps is wiping her teats, inner thighs, and under her tail with a wet rag or baby wipes daily. Sometimes twice a day if it's been particularly humid.

                              After trying everything under the sun, I've come to the conclusion she just does it in response to sweat and gunk.
                              Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Check between her teats if you haven't already cleaned that area. My mare will rub her tail out so I have to clean there at least once a week. Warm damp cloth works best at first and once they get used to being touched there you can just pick away with your fingers

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  If it’s not an allergy to “noseeums”/sweet itch (which needs avoidance of the bugs with avoiding dusk/dawn t/o, fly sheets, etc try a tar based shampoo preferably with salicylic acid which are anti-seborrheal. Does wonders for many tail itchers if used 2-3x a week.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Definitely clean her udder. Then wash the tail and spray it with Banxx. Also, wash her body between her butt cheeks.

                                    If she keeps rubbing it, then definitely try washing the tail with a medicated shampoo, and using some topical steroid cream rubbed into the tail.
                                    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by ShotenStar View Post
                                      I discovered two sources of itchiness with my tail rubbing mare: 1-crud on / between her tits, 2-ticks in her tail. I use an anti-tick product (Ovitrol) sprayed into the hairs all along her tail bone and regular cleaning of her udder with baby wipes. I also use a lanolin-based hair care product sprayed directly on her tail bone. These measures have mostly stopped the tail rubbing.

                                      *star*
                                      I will second the tick theory. I couldn't figure out why my mare would get sudden itchy-tail bouts, and was cleaning everything. Recently I went to scrub her tail with anti-dandruff stuff to see if that was it and there were several tick bites along the bone, and she desperately needed it itched! I washed with tick shampoo and will keep it super clean with detangler (I'm thinking the detangler will be a little slicker and more difficult for them to climb up).

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by SonnysMom View Post

                                        I had a horse that was rubbing his tail. He had been wormed with Ivermectin before I got him and Power Pac after I got him and he still rubbed his tail. I used a tube of ivermectin in and around his anus about 3 weeks apart. He stopped rubbing and is fine 3 years later. I couldn't see any pinworms but I had 2 tubes of ivermectin that were both about 1 month expired so I figured it can't hurt and was free.
                                        I am sticking this one in my toolbox. There are mares out there, like the one I leased, that are always "in season" and rub from that, as well. I tried everything. Listerine, kept her teats clean, conditioner on her tail, standing on my head...I wish I had tried the Ivermectin on her anal area.

                                        “My horses are my friends, not my slaves” — Reiner Klimke

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