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Sweet itch

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  • Sweet itch

    I have a new horse. She's a lovely kind-hearted, friendly little mare and sweet like apple pie; however, I'm pretty sure she has sweet itch.

    She came from a warmer climate and she is ITCHY. Seriously itchy. We do not have any bugs that cause sweet itch currently as it is still too cold - so this is a prolonged response to whatever bugs were active in her previous mild climate home.

    She's not naked yet, but seriously working on it. I have watched her drag her belly across gritty snow in an effort to scratch her belly and udder. She sat on the hay feeders to try to get between her legs and has drawn blood doing this, so feeders are now all removed. She is currently very vigorously rubbing her neck and shoulders on a shelter, putting her whole weight into it, actually bending the walls! She is not really eating as well as she should because she is consumed by her itchiness.

    Vigorous grooming (with her leaning into it) with a plastic curry provides her some momentary, but only nominal relief. Her hair is coming off with chunks of skin attached, so much currying will continue to be required for the ongoing future as there is obviously a build-up of unhealthy skin covering her entire body.

    We really need to find her a permanent solution.

    Previous owner dewormed her in January. The usual worming recommendation for my area is that nothing needs to be done from November to April due to cold effectively killing off any eggs or parsites. Still I wonder whether a good dose of ivermectin might help . . .

    So, what are your favourite topical remedies?

    Because we're in the middle of a last hurrah from Old Man Winter and it is currently cold at -13 degrees and windy, bath solutions will have to wait until at least April.

    Patch solutions I have heard about include:
    * straight listerine
    * a combination of vinegar, listerine and water
    * a bath using head and shoulders shampoo

    Others??

    I've also thought of environmental allergens, but all of the typical environmental allergens are still in winter dormancy.

    I thought of food allergies. She started with pure timothy hay. Then I tried switching her to brome/alfalfa and that was no change, so she went back to timothy and again showing no change. She was getting a vitamin/mineral balancer that was alfalfa based (no soy). So I stopped that. No change. Then I tried plain beet pulp and oats. No difference. I'm about to try just beet pulp and rice bran, in case she's allergic to oat, but I'm kinda getting the impression that feed is neither worse or better so I'm thinking this is not a food allergy, but rather an ongoing and residual allergy to bug-bites.

    I'm wondering if Immunall might help with the over-active immune response to the critters that cause such prolonged sweet itch? Has anyone tried that?
    Practice! Patience! Persistence!
    http://www.mariposasporthorses.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/MariposaSportHorses/

  • #2
    You can add a feed through antihistimine, like TriHist or AniHist.

    My mare occasionally gets hives from bug bites, and adding Flax into her diet helps immensely.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

    Comment


    • #3
      Itchy Horses

      I have one too. It's a pita for sure.

      There's another thread in this forum similar to yours, and I posted my novel of experience there:

      http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...uct-experience

      Bless you for taking this mare. I hope her issues resolve well and that you two share many happy years together
      Last edited by HorsesRMyTherapy; Mar. 15, 2013, 07:12 PM. Reason: grammar

      Comment


      • #4
        We have been dealing with an itchy horse for the past 3 years. He was tested for allergies (blood test) and was positive for over 20 items. Lots of bugs,fungi and some foods. His worst time is the summer and we have tried quite a few supplements and topicals.

        We have had reasonably good results with Equiderma Lotion and also Eqyss Medicated Spray for local itchy areas like the mane and tail.

        We also use the Eqyss shampoo when it is warm enough.

        Good luck, it gets very frustrating at times. Wish I had a "silver bullet" to offer you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Tri-hist has pseudoephedrine, can lead to anhidrosis, and is horrible tasting -- ask me how I know Anihist has an expectorant. Both were prescribed for my mare w/ heaves; but for skin, I wouldn't think that you'd need or want to give an expectorant or sudaphed.

          For a skin reaction, I would think that your vet would have something that could give some immediate relief - probably an injection?

          And, feeding Omega-3s & oil of some kind would probably help in the long term.

          Let us know what your vet says.
          Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

          Comment


          • #6
            My mare has this too. She's on platinum performance. I was thinking of trying their skin and allergy formula

            Comment


            • #7
              I know when my dog's coat goes crazy with the flaking skin and itchiness a shot of cortisone cleared it right up and lasted for months. Would that potentially work for a horse?

              Comment


              • #8
                I was going to suggest a steroid, too. Maybe powdered Dex in her feed?

                I had a mare with sweet itch and I found a product which was called (I think) Muck Itch. It is in a spray bottle so you can really get it into areas that you may not want to risk getting yourself kicked if you use a topical

                It worked really well.

                Turned out that she had been in a paddock next to my neighbor's pond. They drained and dredged it and then let it fill up again. That work seemed to have released/encouraged growth of the noseeums which then atacked this poor mare. But, even moving her paddock did not help once she started itching. Only Muck Itch gave her relief.

                Come summer you will probably want to turn her out in a fly sheet with both a neck cover and a belly band. Also make sure she is in at sunrise and sunset (not easy to do if the others are living out full time and you do not want to get up before sunrise to get her in). But those are the 2 really bad times of day for these bugs.
                "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think a call to the vet about possible steroids is a first thought. Then, start figure out if it is actually sweet itch or some other allergy. For sweet itch, copious applications of DEET seemed to work wonders on my one mare. This was on the belly and tail, not the entire horse.

                  given the weather there I would suspect some other allergic reaction is causing the current itchiness.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Google this product and give it a try - dr reckeweg r17 - its inexpensive, easily available and well worth a try

                    A colt I sold to a client had a sarcoid / aural plaque in his ear that cauliflowered and was about the size of an apricot and within 3-4 weeks it was totally gone

                    My daughter had thousands of these itchy little bumps all over her arms that no dermotologist was able to get rid of permanently with any topical or oral medication - with this product they were gone in 3-4 weeks

                    My husband has taken a reaction to something - we dont have a clue what it is and neither does his doctor - where red, raw itching patches appear overnight on his legs and drive him insane with the itching - with this product they are totally gone in 3-4 weeks

                    15 drops three times a day, in a syringe shot down her throat. You will see evidence of it working within a week and by month end, they will totally be gone. Get the large bottle - its something like $28.00 or $30.00 and it will last you well over the months time

                    Good luck!
                    www.TrueColoursFarm.com
                    www.truecoloursproducts.com

                    True Colours Farm on Facebook

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a very itchy draft cross. I had Tucker allergy tested and he was positive for 26 items.
                      He was on allergy shots for several years but I stopped last year.
                      I have blogged about his allergies several times, but this one details what works best:
                      http://calypsofarmeventers.blogspot....d-miracle.html
                      The Bye Bye Itch has been a miracle for him. The supplement and the lotion together, and I am also using the Coal Tar, Neem & Tea Tree shampoo.
                      His mane and tail have never looked better. When he starts to rub his tail, I rub the lotion in. I keep him on the supplement year round, but decrease the amount in the winter.
                      In addition, I use a mixture of Equiderm and diaper rash ointment to slather on along the mid line and his ears during the summer.
                      In addition, I will do double dosing of ivermectin several times a year.
                      Nothing else works as well as these products. I have tried. Everything.
                      Turnout in the summer is limited. We are moving to our new farm soon and so I will finally have more control, such as being able to turn him out after dark and bringing him back in around midnight. You don't want them out at dusk or dawn, when the bugs are at their worst for biting. He does wear a flysheet when turned out in the summer. Our new summer turnout will be all morning until it is too hot and then for a few hours after dinner. Otherwise, he is in his stall, with fan on full blast, which helps discourage biting insects.
                      Good luck, it is frustrating as hell.
                      Lori T
                      www.calypsofarmeventers.blogspot.com
                      www.facebook.com/LoriTankelPhotography
                      www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I bought a Welsh Cob 3 years ago that came in a mess. My vet and I tried a variety of things and what worked was a triple dose of Eqimax with a repeat after 4 or 6 weeks (I forget which). The active ingredient that worked was the 14% praziquantel.

                        Midges and threadworms combined.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          And allergies can take up to two years to either disappear or appear after moving to a different climate.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I just got a stallion a little over a week ago. He was eaten half alive by insects (noseeums) all over! His ears,armpits,seam of belly,and his testicles....all totally raw. I was having the vet out but at the time he couldn't get out here for a few days. So I went to the tack shop and I was looking for something to heal and help soothe the raw spots. The girl who worked the suggested some stuff called "Toad Jam and Toad stick" said they cant keep in stock and that it would also repel insects. So I looked at it and figured it was worth a try and there was nothing it in that that would hurt him. I gotta say it has almost totally healed all the raw areas and it does keep bugs away. My vet didn't have any resistance to me using it so. So if you can't find anything give it a try. I knew nothing of the stuff til last week and found it worked on my guy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              sweet ictch

                              I have a pony we have been working with for several years. She rubs herself raw all year. We tried cortisone shots, limited results. I have been feeding her chia seeds in her grain and so far no rubbing. the test will be now as the spring bugs are just coming out. I am looking for an anti-itch cream for the outside as well. But the chia seems to help. I even started taking it for a dry patch on myself and it really works!! I purchaced through equine chia. I started feeding all my horses chia seeds. I do mill it before feeding as I think you get better results.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by spook1 View Post
                                I just got a stallion a little over a week ago. He was eaten half alive by insects (noseeums) all over! His ears,armpits,seam of belly,and his testicles....all totally raw. I was having the vet out but at the time he couldn't get out here for a few days. So I went to the tack shop and I was looking for something to heal and help soothe the raw spots. The girl who worked the suggested some stuff called "Toad Jam and Toad stick" said they cant keep in stock and that it would also repel insects. So I looked at it and figured it was worth a try and there was nothing it in that that would hurt him. I gotta say it has almost totally healed all the raw areas and it does keep bugs away. My vet didn't have any resistance to me using it so. So if you can't find anything give it a try. I knew nothing of the stuff til last week and found it worked on my guy.
                                Okay, for the name alone - and because you are in a similar climate, I had to check this magical "toad" stuff out. Here is their Facebook page for anyone else curious -
                                https://www.facebook.com/pages/CoCos...m/236218753160

                                I would be beyond ecstatic to find something natural that really worked for the damn NoSeeUms & mosquitoes, which are unbelievable where I live-surrounded by swamp. We survive w/ Equi-Spot & Mosquito Halt, but I would love to not have the taste of Mosquito Halt in my mouth after spraying her down. It works, and it doesn't irritate my mare, but it is anything but non-toxic.
                                Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  For those of us who don't Facebook...another link to the toad stuff?

                                  This stuff sounds so, well, interesting I'm considering breaking out the credit card.

                                  However, is there another path to the Toad besides Facebook?

                                  Btw, my gelding is allergic to corn, and Trihist is corn based. We have used Anihist for the respiratory aspect with limited success.

                                  I'm now going to research the other products listed. So many people with itchy allergic horses. Wonder how that evolved?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by HorsesRMyTherapy View Post
                                    This stuff sounds so, well, interesting I'm considering breaking out the credit card.

                                    However, is there another path to the Toad besides Facebook?

                                    Btw, my gelding is allergic to corn, and Trihist is corn based. We have used Anihist for the respiratory aspect with limited success.

                                    I'm now going to research the other products listed. So many people with itchy allergic horses. Wonder how that evolved?
                                    http://www.toadjuice.net/

                                    I am a sucker for ridiculous &/or entertaining names - like the Anti-MonkeyButt Powder :P
                                    Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I was skeptical about the stuff but my poor guy needed some relief he was very merisable. So it was a a chance on the stuff (Toad Jam) and I had nothing to lose but 11 bucks. And I am pleasantly surprised how well it worked at both healing and repelling the insects. Warning....does stink.....

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I have a mare who has horrible sweet itch...as in no tail, mane and belly scabs galore.

                                        I started feeding her Purina Healthy Edge and now her coat is gorgeous. tail is totally grown and and no visible issues at all. I was at my wits end and ready to order a sweet itch rug from the UK that covers everything. I went the entire summer laat year with no issues at all.


                                        It may not work for you but it is worth a shot for sure!!
                                        The rider casts his heart over the fence,
                                        the horse jumps in pursuit of it.

                                        –Hans-Heinrich Isenbart

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