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something to kill adult Onchocerca? 19 CASE STUDIES POSTED-PAGE 58

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  • Oz,
    Well, at the moment my mare is actually not suffering too much. It's early in the season here and she's in better shape skin wise than she ever has been. But we're waiting for our hot weather here, and the hordes of midges and black flies. So she'll get there I'm sure! Unless the DD protocol works miracles.

    We are desperate folks, the sweet itch crew! If this is a parasite problem I will kick myself. I just feel bad for the horse. She actually sees me coming and I'm sure sighs to herself and gives in to my endless poking and slathering with ointments.

    Try DRIVING an itchy horse!! So much more tack to rub ans sweat. Poor critters.

    How many DD's did you do?


    • I've done three DD's so far - I have seen improvement - but then the midges bite again - so more NTW's! I try to keep him covered most of the time and put Brute on him - but if it rains or I don't do it often enough they bite again - I've seen them sheltering under his belly when it's raining!!!!! At present his belly is the worst - as I missed applying the Brute as I have been busy with sick family members!!!

      In a month's time I will go to a single dose and continue it - unless anyone has some better suggestions!!!!

      Good luck!


      • Well, not sure anyone is out there, but I need to vent. Ha!

        So my mare is now extremely itchy, rubbing her face to bloodiness. This is 4 days post DD of Equimax. Trying to keep her covered, but it really doesn't matter, she's going to itch if she needs to.

        I read someone on here used Gastrogaurd for facial itchiness? Hmmmm...

        Anyway, so hopeful that the next DD shows some response. I think my hopes have really been raised by the possibility her suffering may be eased even a little.


        • The DD protocol helped my mare immensely, and I believe what also helps prevent a return to rubbing her face raw is daily degrungifying her udder when the weather turns warm. That area scurfs up so badly and keeping it very clean really helps with her itchiness. I spray it every morning (and the rest of her) with a combo of water, cider vinegar, Skin So Soft and Listerine. In the evening when the gnats settle down, I hose her off and water spray and wipe her udder clean. I have to be careful she doesn't fall over on me as she stands on one back leg while I do that. She also gets a scoop of the 500 hydroxizine twice/day.


          • I just got rid of scratches on my horse with a dose of 1 tube of Equimax and 1 tube of Ivermectin. The scratches had just started and were not that bad yet, but were on all 4 feet. All the spots dried up and cleared up in a week and I didn't use any topical treatments.

            I had a summer-long battle with scratches on this same horse a few years ago, before I started the DD's for this formerly itchy mare. Nothing got rid of them.

            I also use the vinegar, Skin So Soft and Listerine mix to keep the gnats from biting her neck. It really works.


            • Wow. Just wow.

              I'm totally paranoid now after wading thru (some of) this thread. I'm feeling itchy gross and giving my gelding a double dose Equimax for the first time tomorrow. He doesn't have sweet itch, or doesn't have it bad, but he's a pretty itchy guy and gets dandruff, grungies, and sometimes little sores on his neck and withers. He's happy to eat just about anything, so he'll take the dewormer like a champ. Fingers crossed...

              There are mother and daughter mares at the barn who really suffer from sweet itch. I just may have to go on a crusade and convince my BO to try this...
              Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


              • So wait a minute. Ok I read some of the thread but wow... It's long. So if a horse has these neck thread worms, this means that the midges are then more attracted to them as opposed to other horses? Because I have such a horse in barn that the midges love. Her stomach is raw and she is rubbing the hair off her face. Only problem is she is in early pregnancy. So is it safe to do this DD protocol with pregnant mares?


                • Not exactly.

                  Horses get NTWs. They just do. MOST horses, when properly dewormed their entire life, which means ivermectin and/or moxidectin at least twice a year, have a small enough population that they aren't an issue. Those chemicals are pretty effective at killing the juveniles (the adults aren't killed).

                  Some horses are just extra sensitive to the juveniles crawling around.

                  Some horses (ok, probably a lot) are not properly dewormed at some point in their life, and have an overload of the adults (which can live 10-15 years), and as such, have an overload of juveniles on a regular basis.

                  I'll never be one to say "sure, go ahead and DD Equimax on your pregnant mare"
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  • I've read through some of this thread, and thought I'd toss a situation out there. We have a new mare that had/has severe "allergies" to bugs. You can tell the long term damage, her front legs the fur is actually grey colored instead of black where the hair loss caused permanent pigmentation damage. When she first came here she was completely bald on her face, neck and most of her shoulders.

                    She was dewormed single dose Equimax, and put on supplements for her coat, Smart Bug Off, and fly sprayed 2x/day. In very little time we started seeing pretty dramatic improvement. Her hair has almost completely grown back, with the exception of a small line under her belly, and some roundish spots/sores on her chest and face. I still catch her scratching her mane on things, but overall it has quieted quite considerably. I'm trying to remember if I noticed any lumps under the skin on her neck, but I can't be certain. While she has improved dramatically, she is not 100%. After reading this thread it has me wondering. And I'm sorry if this has been said, but is there a way to TEST for Onchocerca? I'm not opposed to DD x DD; however, if there is a test to see if that IS what is going on, I'd rather have her checked to confirm prior to treatment.

                    Thoughts? Bugs should not be an issue here soon, with the temps dropping. I would think if there is a problem after the bugs are gone then there is more going on then just a bug allergy? And if the problem goes away in the winter maybe it is a bug allergy vs worms? Was that addressed already as well?
                    Celtic Pride Farm
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                    • Originally posted by okggo View Post
                      She was dewormed single dose Equimax, In very little time we started seeing pretty dramatic improvement. And I'm sorry if this has been said, but is there a way to TEST for Onchocerca? I'm not opposed to DD x DD; however, if there is a test to see if that IS what is going on, I'd rather have her checked to confirm prior to treatment.

                      Thoughts? Bugs should not be an issue here soon, with the temps dropping. I would think if there is a problem after the bugs are gone then there is more going on then just a bug allergy? And if the problem goes away in the winter maybe it is a bug allergy vs worms? Was that addressed already as well?
                      Without going back and refreshing my memory or looking for more recent research, there isn't a simple test for onchocerca. Skin biopsy was the latest I'm aware of, however a negative test is not conclusive (i.e. they might not have been present in that specific sample). In my area, you'd need a dermatologist/allergist to get the test done. A positive test is also inconclusive as many, if not most, horses have them but are not allergic to them and they are not causing the symptoms you're trying to alleviate.

                      I think many vets make a diagnosis based upon the symptoms getting worse within the first 72 hours after treating with ivermectin, so if you can remember whether your horse got itchier, before she got better, you have more information.

                      The standard treatment is more frequent worming with a normal dose and that makes much more sense to me that a DD + DD every time you have problems. A normal dose has a 99% + efficacy against the microfilara (sp?) and a double dose does not kill the adults.

                      Another big indicator of onchocerca would be the symptoms persisting through the winter but many believe that most cases do subside a great deal because the immune system is not overloaded with other allergies (incl. sweet itch).

                      I do believe onchocerca is prevalent in most areas with gnats, but most horses are not hyper-sensitive. I've not found a vet that takes it seriously, but I give it careful consideration because of its link to uveitis. My horse has many allergies and they manifest in itchy eyes. He's clean on his eye exam each year but he's bald-face/pink skinned hypersensitive to everything and I'm not taking any chances.

                      Having said that about my experience with vets and onchocerca, I think a vet should be involved with any diagnosis and treatment.
                      Last edited by Rbow; Sep. 26, 2012, 12:14 PM.


                      • Hi there,

                        Well here in Australia it's warming up, so we are preparing for midge season! My percheron, Saadi, is looking brilliant at present and I'm hoping he will stay that way.

                        I'm not sure about tests, but after doing three lots of DD I now worm him once a month with a single dose. I also started feeding him livamol which helps the coat - and I have just received some capsules developed by the sweet itch centre in UK. I will let you know how they go.

                        I apply Brute once or twice a week, paying particular attention to the tummy area. And of course he is rugged!

                        So - fingers crossed this year!!!



                        • I have a three yr old filly who is miserable with itchiness. She has an enflamed midline that is weeping serum and terribly itchy. Asli the insides of her thighs. Her face has small rub marks from her rubbing it on things. And recently she has really started to rub her mane and tail.
                          My question is if it is NOT onchocerca, what else could it be? Ive done the double dosing protocol and she is still itching. I was thinking of giving her spirulina. Anyone ever try this?


                          • Originally posted by Quixotic View Post
                            My question is if it is NOT onchocerca, what else could it be? Ive done the double dosing protocol and she is still itching. I was thinking of giving her spirulina. Anyone ever try this?
                            I think, more often than not, the problem is just sweet itch (allergy to gnat bites). I've never tried spirulina. What works best for me is full fly sheet, with belly and neck cover, and long nose fly mask with ears.

                            I also use a homemade fly spray, antihistimines, anti-itch lotions, other supplements (might contain spirulina?), and lots of baths.


                            • I have an 11 year old Reg. Appy(half appy, half QH) mare that I have owned for 1 1/2 years. She has had an itchy tummy the entire time I have had her. In the last 6 months she has developed a bald area in her mane. Also she has an area on her neck right at her throat that is bald. I use a homemade Avon SSS/vinegar fly spray, and while it helps it has not stopped her itching. I have never been one to do routine worming...my bad! After doing some research on the Internet, and finding this thread( a big thank you to whomever started this some 80 pages ago!), I have just done a double dose of 1.87% ivermectin. In two weeks I will repeat. I have my fingers crossed that my girl gets some relief! Yesterday our vet came out to my ranch for a vaccination clinic, and I asked him about the DD. He supported it and warned me she might get super itchy...which is what a lot of folks here noticed, and I have read about, so I am prepared for that. I am also ready to DD her a few times to stop the nasty worms.
                              On a side note, I had a 40 year old saddlebred mare that I had to put down as a result of a compound leg fracture. When she was around 34 after a vaccination clinic where the vet gave her an ivermectin wormer, she developed moon blindness. He came out, and told me it was the onchocerca worms that died in her eye. She was permanently blind until she died in that eye. I am concerned about that with my newest girl, but she has not had any weeping in her eyes and I am hoping she does not have the same thing happen!
                              So my game plan is to do the double worming, until she clears up, then go on a worming schedule that Chocomare had in one of her posts. I will follow up on this forum and let you know how she does!
                              Last edited by Fyrcat; Oct. 28, 2012, 05:54 PM. Reason: Spelling


                              • Results on a double dosing of Equimax

                                Horse: 8 year old QH gelding "Bo"

                                Symptoms: flaky dandrufy mane and tail, welts on shoulders, chest and withers. Midline chewed up, scabby and gross. Hair loss on little welts. Constant itching against fence posts and trees, rubbing mane, tail, shoulders, neck. Everything. His coat on his shoulders, chest, neck and back were dull and greasy with some sort of scurffy buildup that was just, well, nasty. It was icky to pet him he felt so awful.

                                Tried: Supplements, shampoos, ointments, lotions, skin and coat conditioners, benedryl, vinegar (in and on), everything and anything.

                                I was frantic. THEN my friend on FB told me about this thread. I've read most of the pages. I would say at least 85%. I weighed the risks. I had considered selling Bo to someone out of state to get him away from the bugs in hopes to have him not be all chewed up anymore. Grooming sessions would end with my head on his forehead or neck in absolute tears at how he had such terrible incurable sweet itch and looked horrible.

                                My friends mare had similar symptoms and she was telling me what a success it was. I was hopeful.

                                Last Friday 10/25/2012 I double dosed Equimax to Bo. He had a little crazy itchyness Sunday. I gave him some Benedryl and he was fine. A few days later he got the flaking skin thing coming off the body from under the coat. Slowly the welts dissappeared. Many of them coming to a small scabby head and came off with regular grooming. I have groomed him for at least a solid hour every day since Sunday and will do so for the next several weeks.

                                Tonight, 11/1/2012, I set up for our grooming session. I rubbed and groomed and worked on him. As I brushed his coat smooth, I noticed not more bumps and lumps. No more greasy coat. He was sleek and smooth and the deep mahogany shine in his coat is back.

                                Again after this grooming session I cried. Not tears of despair and frustration, but tears of relief. I have not posted much on this board but I have read things. I want to thank you ALL. Chocomare especially, but to the rest of you as well that have contributed your success stories. Thank you, thank you, thank you all. <3

                                You can now add Me and my partner "Bo" to the list of successful NTW removal. We will be doing our follow up DD next week on schedule.

                                If I'm a greenie, does that mean I'm some sort of chew toy now???


                                • Yippee!!! Soooo glad to hear! Keep it up!
                                  <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                                  • It has been a week since I did the first double dose of ivermectin 1.87%. Rena, my mare, is much improved. Up until the DD, she constantly swatted at her tummy hard between her legs with her tail,and rubbing on the ground with all four feet splayed. I would say that within 24 hours after worming her, that she quit her constant swishing and swatting. It looks like some growth is occurring in her mane where it is bald. I am very encouraged by the results so far, and will do another update a few days after her second DD! Thank you so much for this forum.


                                    • Reading this thread and up to page 61.

                                      I noticed this fall ALL my horses (5) had small quarter size up to silver dollar size crusty itchy spot on their sternums. A couple kinda rubbed their tails, but not to the extent of getting down to the skin. It is mid November here in TX, is it to late to be effective in the DD of Equimax and ivermectin treatments?


                                      • A good thread never dies.....

                                        And now to come at it from an interesting public health question.

                                        This article from CNN explains a bit how Ivermectin us used against Onchocerca in Africa to combat river blindness - horse owners will recognize the symptoms! What struck me in this and other articles, is there is no mention of concomitantly treating livestock and yet the disease has been eliminated in several countries. So the humans are suceptible only to Onchocerca volvulus, and the horses to Onchocerca cervicalis? Since so many of our horses seem to have it but no one talks about being diagnosed themselves, that is the transmission break between people and horses? And the same black midge fly that bites me when I go feed the pony is the vector of both?

                                        Are there any signs of an Oncho elimination push in livestock (Ivermectin 2x per year)? or is that not feasible since it isn't approved for use in food animals so that cattle would remain as a reservoir?
                                        HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                                        www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog


                                        • Bumping this up as H&H poses a very interesting question. H&H thank you for the link.

                                          I may just send it to a horse owner I know that has a horse that is suffering. His whole belly is ozing sores. Per her vet, treat it topically. UGH!!! I've sent her links to this thread and many of the links within this thread, still she's not trying the recommended steps to take that are found here.

                                          To anyone reading this that doubts what has been recommended here - you have nothing to lose by trying it. If you suspect your horse has a high load, maybe do single dose, two weeks later dd dose. See where that gets you. (Having said that I am not a vet nor do I play one on TV.) But I am a horse owner who had a horse that suffered far too long until I tried this.

                                          I wanted to add, this is not a one time and all is cured. You have to keep on top of it. I just did a dd of ivermectin as one horse had a little bit of belly issue. And I've been following the recommeded protocol here for a few years now.
                                          Last edited by blue&blond; Feb. 3, 2013, 12:33 PM. Reason: Wanted to add to it.