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Anyone have this same experience with their horse after using equispot or freedom 45?

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  • Anyone have this same experience with their horse after using equispot or freedom 45?

    Two of the horses in our barn have had this same reaction within 12 to 24 hours of using these topicals to prevent ticks. Both horses became very depressed and lethargic. They both also exhibited neurological symptoms of muscle weakness or some kind of hind limb motor control problem as they had trouble walking behind and holding themselves up at times. To make sure it was not something else or a fluke we tried it again 2 weeks later with the same reaction. (never again)!

    I assume these are signs of some type of toxicity to the chemicals used in these products. One horse also had a skin reaction and limb swelling, the other did not but also showed the same neurological symptoms. Symptoms went away several days later. Pretty Scary!! With lymes rampant in our area we are at a loss now as how to protect them. One horse had the same reaction to Ovatrol also.

    Our vet has not heard of this type of reaction other than skin allergies to these products so I was wondering if anyone else or vet had also occured this type of reaction and if so any input would be great!


  • #2
    I've recently begun using Celebration, which is a very similar product. I worried about some type of reaction, so I pre-tested each of the 3 horses I planned for applications by putting 2 ccs on each (normal application is roughly 9-10 cc) in a precise location and observing them for 2 days for allergic reactions. I did not observe any reactions, so all three were treated per instructions (less the 6 cc's I had pre-used). Two weeks later I gave them another dose.

    I did not observe any issues with any of the three horses either time.


    • Original Poster


      I forgot to mention that both of these horses were skin tested at first and had been using the product for some time. The horse with the skin reaction had it occur after she completely shed her coat. She was fine with it in the beginning months then developed the skin allergy and other symptoms after she completely shed out and the product was in more contact with her skin.

      I am not sure if the toxicity develops over a period of time using the product every 2 weeks religiously as reccommended. Something to keep an eye out for for those using it. We also have one horse that has been using it during the summers for several years with no problem.


      • #4
        I've seen a very very bad reaction from Equispot. Not my horse, but it was a TERRIBLE reaction. The vet demanded owner go after the company, which paid many of the very expensive vet bills. This was over 5 years ago, can't believe the stuff is still for sale, honestly.


        • #5
          SRF1 -- thanks for the clarification -- that's an important point.


          • #6
            Try frontline
            my horse gets second degree burns from citronella. found out using one of those citronella neck bands... yeah that was scary when we found out.... his throat latch basically peeled off!
            chaque pas est fait ensemble


            • #7
              I used the Equispot and my horse was fine with it. BO uses it on her horses too which is why I tried it. Didn't even know there were reactions happening out there...I think I have one more left (package of 3). Now you made me nervous to use it!
              She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!


              • Original Poster

                Fat Palomino if you feel comfortable sharing, can I ask what type of reaction the horse you knew had? It might help confirm my suspicians if they were similar in any way to our horses.

                Buffyblue, didnt mean to worry you but you might want to keep an eye out in the future if any of the horses you know that are treated start showing any of these symptoms.


                • #9
                  My girlfriend's dog reacts the same way to Frontline for dogs. Lost some hind in control, shakes, lethargic. Just FYI. Her vet never heard of it either.


                  • #10
                    equispot or freedom 45 reactions

                    I have used equispot faithfully for the last 3-4 years now without any issues. I did spot treat first to make sure there would not be a reaction, said a few Hail Mary's, applied it, and then watched my horse like a hawk for the next 48 hours. I would do this with any chemical I put on an animal. The equispot takes care of the horn fly, gnats, ticks, and a host of others that would bother my mare so badly she would rub, tear at her skin to the point that she would bleed. The equispot has given her the relief from all this.

                    Honestly, I was very afraid to use it and asked all around. Everyone I spoke with uses it without any problems.


                    • #11
                      I have never used any spot pesticide on my horses nor will I. I used it once on my golden retriever - Biospot - and she became completely paralyzed in her hind end for over a week. Never again.

                      Lavender, citrus, tea tree oil and no chemicals. The Lavender seems to be the best.
                      --Gwen <><
                      "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."


                      • #12
                        My mare got such bad chemical burns it took forever for her to heal. She also made the mistake of rubbing her eyes on her knees causing them to have chemical burns as well. Almost blinded her... I will never use that stuff ever, ever again...
                        Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~
                        Proud owner of "The Intoxicated Moose!"
                        "Hope is not an executable plan" ~ My Mom
                        I love my Dublin-ator


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SRF1 View Post
                          Fat Palomino if you feel comfortable sharing, can I ask what type of reaction the horse you knew had? It might help confirm my suspicians if they were similar in any way to our horses.

                          It's been a few years, but this is what I remember.
                          Owners treated two horses, only one had a reaction. He was bay and this was the first time they used it.

                          He nearly fell over when touched- ripped down cross ties, went 100% wild.
                          His skin hurt all over.
                          Vet came right out, tried to wash it off (using dish soap I believe?).
                          Contacted manufacturer, used DMSO IV, anything they could to help the horse clear it's system quicker.
                          The horse remained incredibly sensitive to the touch.
                          He also quickly developed a light sensitivity, he wouldn't come out of his shed during the day at all.
                          It was about 4-8 weeks later, he was only slightly better, when the owners moved him to another barn that was better for him (able to keep him inside more).
                          It was thousands of dollars in vet bills and the manufacturer was working with the vet and absorbing the majority of the cost of treatment.
                          I don't know the final outcome, as I lost touch after they moved.


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks fatpalomino for the update and everyone for their input some of the stories especially with the dogs, sound eerily familiar to what we experienced.


                            • #15
                              When it first came out, there were people here reporting all sorts of neurological symptoms their horses exhibited.

                              I used a similar product on my cats one, and it made them feel like CRAP for about a week. Totally unacceptable.
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                              • #16
                                My horse did have a reaction to it but not what happened to yours. The first application when ok and I had no problems at all. The second application she got severe hives where ever the equispot was applied. I spoke with my vet about it and she had said that she had seen this happen to several other horses and that it was always after the first application.
                                Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

                                Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.


                                • #17
                                  Point of clarification, please. I know the OP listed both Equi Spot and Freedom 45 as causing the problem. Would you please verify that BOTH caused the problem.

                                  Explanation: In reviewing the chemical compositions of each, Equi Spot has a high level of citronella. Freedom 45 and Celebrate do not. Trying to get a sense (probably impossible, but I'm trying) of whether concentrated permethrins or the citronella is the primary culprit.


                                  • #18
                                    I had one dog on whom I couldn't use any permethrin based tick-flea chemical. I believe that permethrin products for dogs are labeled as having neurological-looking side effects for some dogs.

                                    That said, I've used Frontline on both my current dogs (one of which is the same breed as the sensitive dog above), and never had a problem.

                                    I've also used Equi-spot without problem for two summers now.

                                    It would not surprise me, however, if some horses are sensitive.
                                    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by JB View Post

                                      I used a similar product on my cats one, and it made them feel like CRAP for about a week. Totally unacceptable.
                                      The cheap cat flea meds, like Hartz, are horrible. We've even seen them cause seizures!


                                      • Original Poster


                                        I too had heard about the citronella in equi spot so I thought that might be the problem as that is what I used first and when she starting to show some symptoms and developed swelling all along the area it was applied. I bought the freedom 45 and waited two weeks and did a test patch and there was no reaction so I thought that citronella was the problem and we were good to go. I applied the rest of the freedom 45 and although she never developed any skin reaction to it along her topline, sure enough within 24 hours she developed swelling in her legs got very lethargic and depressed and started showing neurological signs. So unfortunately at least for her both products are a problem. The other horse in the barn that had problems also only had been given equispot.

                                        Please note: I am not a fan of putting all these pesticides on our horses. After having witnessed horses in the barn suffer from the ravaging effects of lymes, erlichia and the horrible effects of doxy (ulcers), not to mention the expense of treatment we are at a complete loss of how to protect these poor horses from ticks!! We feel we are damed if we do and damed if we don't.