• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Midges still active? Another itchy thread with nutrition questions

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Midges still active? Another itchy thread with nutrition questions

    Sorry but I didn't want this to get buried in the NTW thread. Just so everybody knows, the vet will be here in about 2 weeks to examine him but I want to get a jump on the problem if I can.

    Just brought in an 18YO gelding who seems to have an abnormal itching situation going on. Overall in good physical condition with glossy coat. He is an OTTB with sensitive skin, but this seems to have been going on for an extended period of time (at least 2 years) and of course spikes during the peak summer months.

    He has trouble itchy spots:
    mane (about an 8 inch span)
    tail, upper portion
    sheath (literally lifts his leg and scrapes this with his teeth)
    but honestly itchy ALL OVER

    He also has been RAPIDLY CONSUMING his white salt block.

    I think I may be looking at multiple sources of this problem. Thinking he has a combination of nutritional deficiencies, NTW, and of course sensitivities to midges.

    The reason I am posting is because I am thinking the midges should really be dormant by now? Temps here in Central Florida dipping nightly into upper 50's with some nights into the high 40's already.

    Current plan: start on flax, do the worming rotation with vets blessing, evaluate feed regimen

    Any comments are welcome. Especially regarding feed. he is currently on Strategy Healthy Edge which seems to be a low protein content (12.5%) for a horse of his age that will be required to work even lightly. Don't they need a higher protein % to build/retain muscle at that age?
  • Original Poster

    bumping up


    • #3
      i read constantly about this because i have one that i have never found a solution for.

      i give him benedryl tabs every couple of days - vet said it is ok. does it help??? does any of it help???? i dont know.....good luck with it all.


      • #4
        Its my understanding that the reaction to the midges is because they go after any open skin that the horse has created from rubbing (because of the NTW). So, horse has NTW, scratches, opens the skin in the form of scratching sores, and the midges go to town on that. So, its not really the midges that are the problem, but their attack on the sores that were created because of the NTW problem.

        I would directly treat for the NTW and see what happens.
        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


        • #5

          Midges active whenever other bugs are! They are gnats! Like flies, skeeters, bees etc.
          I'm guessing all year long in Florida.
          Remember, the itching is the result of a generalized systemic allergic reaction to the bug bites. Theoretically all it'd take is ONE! Treatment might include systemic antihistamines (like Atarax) or steroids or allergy shots... but....most of us find prevention can minimize the reaction. Try to prevent the bites. Subject well covered so do a thread search. A lot of wise things are suggested.
          I've had decent luck w/ground flax seed, flyspray/fly sheets, lotsa vaseline over midline/jaw & common bite areas.
          I don't think the salt thing is related. If you're worried about it then just go to measured salt in his feed rather than free choice. I gotta think they need/like a lotta salt in florida. Sometimes salt deprived horses will pig out on it for awhile when they finally get it. Usually levels out after a few weeks.

          Whats NTW? Just when I think I know all our "COTH Speak"!!


          • #6
            NTW = neck thread worms


            • #7
              It sounds like pretty classic Culicoides hypersensitivity to me ("Sweet Itch"). You described the classic pattern - mane, tail, midline - that Culicoides targets. There's a good bit of management you can do for this - putting a fan on the horse to keep the bugs away (and not a gentle breeze box fan - you gotta get the big metal power fan with some real air output), keeping a light sheet on if possible, turning out during periods of the day when bugs are least active (they are MOST active at dawn and dusk), using LOTS of fly spray etc (I like "Bug Off" wipe-on product - it's a more concentrated permethrin product than some of the others, and you can wipe it directly on and around the affected areas).

              Additionally, someone at my barn purchased a product for her gelding that gets summer sores every year. They were little "anklets" that you put on the horses legs that were impregnated with some kind of insect repellant. She said they worked well, as he didn't get summer sores. I kind of worry that they would be easily lost in a field, and might cause irritation/rubbing when you put them on.

              Feeding-wise, adding Omega-3's in some form (flax, oil, what have you) seems to help, like you mentioned. Some people swear by adding a cup or two of cider vinegar to the feed. I haven't used that method myself, but anecdotally it seems to help.

              Medically, dexamethasone REALLY helps these horses. You typically start out with a high dose and wean them down to the lowest dose possible that controls their itching. My older mare pretty gets low-dose dex ALL summer every summer, or else she gets to the point that she's so miserable from the itching she stops eating. Steroids do have some side effects, so make sure to discuss those with your vet.

              As far as feeding goes, the two most common reasons horses consume a lot of salt is because they NEED it (from excessive sweating, which a Florida climate can cause), or because they just LIKE it. Equine kidneys have a remarkable ability to conserve salt, so rarely are horses clinically hyponatremic.

              Feeding protein in the horse is really kind of superfluous - they get their necessary amount from forage alone, if a forage of high enough quality and quantity is supplied. Everyone gets all worried about protein content, but unless your horse is in a VERY high level of work (racing, endurance, high level eventing), additional protein supplementation through concentrated feed isn't necessary. There have even been recent studies suggesting that forage-only diets for racehorses provide better muscle recovery because the protein content in forage is more bioavailable and useful to muscle recovery than that in a concentrated feed.


              • #8
                How much feed is he getting? if you are feeding below the recommended levels of grain then he isn't getting the recommended levels of vitamin and minerals.
                for more Joy then you can handle


                • #9
                  Sounds like midges and agree, if other bugs are about so are they.

                  Three things
                  1) the horses's system is reacting to the "venom" or midges serum and that can take a while to settle down. Look at anti-histamines to counter his overwhelmed system
                  2) Rinse and treat the affected areas. You have to experiment because what worked for mine may irritate yours. What I used is Campho+Phenol (generic or name brand) mixed in plain petroleum jelly. Heavy dose on midline, lightly on mane and tail areas.
                  3). Prime feeding for midges in SC is around 4pm till 9am. So my very sensitive gelding is out during the day and up at night. If not feasible, then get a fly sheet with neck cover, tail cover and belly strap. I use the Rambos and they have held up well. Also, so far, no bugs caught under the sheets.
                  "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                  Courtesy my cousin Tim


                  • #10
                    I have a friesian gelding born on my farm that has severe sweet itch.
                    In the early years I spent a fortune on remedies and finally
                    Reluctantly did steroid injections, trying to get away with the least
                    Possible. Did buy the Boett blanket and it works but is heavy and hot.
                    By accident discovered that Shapely's MTG works if always slathered
                    On each site the midges go after. It totally and completely works.
                    Those midges will be 1/8" from his tasty sheath and not land with no
                    Fly sheet at all on. I am still in awe of this success. Shapelys is putting out
                    MTG that does not smell like sulphur. I pray they offer the stinky one
                    Just in case the nice smling one doesnt work. I also feed flax seed whole
                    Wet but not soaked to boost the immune system.