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Horse is allergic to ticks? How to keep ticks off a horse?

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  • Horse is allergic to ticks? How to keep ticks off a horse?

    I have a mare who is showing a serious reaction to tick bites this year. She has always shown one or two of these per year. I never thought much about it. She must have a dozen of these on her now in various stages.

    She has just returned to work after a year off due to foundering. After a few weeks of unusually cold weather, we are having a very very warm winter. High 70s and low 80s each day. The mare is being ridden out in the woods for trails.

    I have removed many ticks from her but obviously have missed some. She has a very long dense winter coat (Russian bred Arabian).

    Evidently the tick bites her, infection set in, a huge scab comes up and then it blows in a small abcess somewhere about dime or quarter size.

    Has anyone experienced this with their own horse?

    How do you keep ticks off of your own horses?

  • #2
    Deo Lotion works wonders at keeping ticks off. You can generally grab it from your local tack store.
    Stacy Lynne Photography


    • #3
      Frontline Spray.

      My guy would get tons under his chin and down his neck. He also seemed to have some sort of reaction to them, resulting in lots of scabs.

      I started spraying him once a month with Frontline spray, and it's done wonders!


      • #4
        It's the story of my horse's life He usually gets them in his "armpits" of his front legs, under his chin, or up in the crease between his hind leg and sheath. When the warm weather comes out, I just keep these areas coated with Swat and it does the trick. As soon as the Swat wears off after a few days, the ticks are right back on him if I'm not on top of it. I hate those things.
        "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

        Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!


        • #5
          I will start with - I don’t know much and I only have experience with one horse. My mare doesn’t get an abscess but each tick bite usually leaves a hard lump. I have had good results in repelling ticks with the spot-on fly treatments applied every 2 weeks, specifically Farnam’s Equispot or Absorbine’s Ultraspot. (Neither did much for flies but seemed to provide great tick protection for my horse.)

          I know some owners have reported skin reactions using this type of product. My mare hasn’t had any issues and she is a horse who breaks out in hives from most oil-based fly sprays. I find both spot-on’s messy to apply. The Ultraspot is pricier and harder to find but there is less product to apply. Less product to apply = less mess in my mind.

          I also try to do a tick check after each trail ride. My horse is quite sensitive and on several occasions, begun stomping a leg repeatedly. In checking the leg, both times I found a tick crawling up her leg. Much easier said than done - checking for ticks - d*mm things are hard to find on a hairy animal until after they‘ve done their damage!

          Hope you find a solution.


          • #6
            A little bit of garlic goes a very long way, as much as some people hate to hear it. I noticed a huge difference between our horses who get garlic and the horses who didn't and the tick counts.


            • #7
              I know the whole feeding garlic is a controversial issue here but I found a tablespoon of garlic once a day made a HUGE difference in the number of ticks I found. Week 1 back in PA with no garlic... 6 icky ticks pulled off. Week 3 after feeding garlic... no ticks. I buy the granulated garlic from the spice isle of Sam's Club.
              Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
              Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
              Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


              • #8
                Another vote for garlic. I also kept the groin and armpit areas covered in SWAT.


                • Original Poster

                  ARe you talking basic garlic powder right from the grocery store?

                  As for when "the warm weather comes", that is all the time down here. I would have to buy Swat by the 55 gallon drum.

                  Will try to find the spray tick stuff. Sound more like my liking .

                  I check her but she is a flea bit gray with a lot of hair.


                  • #10
                    1/3 cup apple cider vinegar in feed once a day. My mare gets the same hard bumps when she gets a bite. This was the first summer I used it and it was great. She liked the taste of it.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cartfall View Post
                      ARe you talking basic garlic powder right from the grocery store?
                      Yep. They sell it as a horse supplement but if you buy in bulk it's just as cheap from the warehouse stores. Mine happens to be Tone's not that it really matters.
                      Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
                      Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
                      Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


                      • #12
                        Story of my gelding's life...

                        After reading this thread, I'm ready to give garlic a try. This is the first I've heard that it helps with ticks.

                        I'm also interested in giving Frontline spray another try now that I see you can purchase it online instead of through your vet.

                        Otherwise, I use spot-on treatments year round. When tick season is at it's worst, I apply a 20-30% DEET insect repellent (Off Deep Woods or similar) to his legs, tail, and mane several times a week. I do use SWAT around his elbows and sheath, but honestly, I don't think it helps that much.

                        Ticks make me crazy anymore!
                        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                        • #13
                          Where is the best place to spray the Frontline? On their legs, tailhead, etc? Is it done once a month? I've had good results with the spray on my dogs. Didn't see any change when I put the drops for horses on them.