Every horse has sometimes itches, which is normal, but sometimes can itches be too common, and then it has nasty consequences. A common reason for itches in spring and summer are the bites of midges and pollen from flowering plants such as flowers, grasses, and trees. In autumn and winter itch is common due to its thick winter coat, lice, worms, and allergies. In this blog, you will read everything about itches, causes, prevention, and treatment!
Itches in horses can have various causes. To stop the itches and the scuffing then you should find the cause why your horse has itches. Then you can solve the problem and stop the itches. We give you the most common causes of itches in horses.
The coat. Horses can have itches due to loose hairs in the coat as your horse is changing its coat. You can easily solve this by brushing your horse. Itches can also be caused by sweating under a warm blanket or by having a very thick coat. The sweat and dirt cause itching. You can solve this by washing your horse or shaving it.
Summer eczema. This is also known as tail-, and mane eczema (SME) or Sweet-Itch and is caused by being hypersensitive to the saliva of the Culicoides Robertii mosquito. This mosquito is also known as a midge. Summer eczema is a very common horse allergy. The intense itches cause horses are scratch until it starts to bleed, which causes irritated and thickened places on the skin between the manes and its tail. From spring until late autumn is midges active. Read here more about summer eczema.
Ectoparasites are also known as ‘bugs’ and in this group are mites and lice very common. Cold-blooded varieties are sensitive to infection from the scab mite. This mite nestles itself in the warm and moist pastern cavity and causes the itches. The horse will bite in the pastern cavity or stamp with its legs. Lice are very common in horses with problems with their immune system. The infection starts in its neck or chest and causes problems such as itches, bald places, and scaling.
Pinworms. Also known as threadworm or seatworm are common in horses and are mostly harmless. The worm nestles itself in the horse’s rectum and causes itches around the anus. Bald places and broken tail hairs are common symptoms of the itches caused by the pinworm. A vet can examine if your horse has pinworms and give your horse medication against this parasite.
Allergies. There are many allergies that have different symptoms and causes in every horse. An allergic reaction is caused by the immune system and is caused by an allergen. This reaction releases too much histamine in the body and causes symptoms such as itches, swelling of the mucous membrane and respiratory tract, and lastly an overproduction of fluids. This is caused when horses come in contact with allergens such as food, shampoo, insects, or by breathing in different kinds of pollen.
Preventing that your horse has itches is in many cases very simple: good hygiene, a dry stable, and washing and brushing your horse in time. It also helps to improve the endurance and the immune system of your horse. Many products can support your horse to decrease itches, irritated skin, and a sandy coat.
Sensitive skin, manes, and tail. Horses with itches tend to scratch when the skin is irritated and the tail hairs break. Some products help your horse from the inside such as our Summer jitters mix. This mix consists of different herbs to make your horse more resilient against insect bites. It also helps to decrease summer jitters and supports the skin and coat to recover faster. Look at our jitter assortment here.
Wound treatment. Some horses shed so violently that small wounds occur. HorseFlex Tea Tree avocado spray helps to protect cleanse and support skin recovery. The spray also smells like eucalyptus and can be used to keep insects, ticks, lice, and mites at a distance.
Immune system. Itches in horses are very common when there is a decreased function of the immune system. When the immune system isn’t optimal then it can cause itches. A lowered immune system can be caused by medicins, a worm treatment, or during changing seasons. Does your horse need a boost? Look here at our immune system assortment.
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