I've tried it all and my horse still itches!

This topic contains 32 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by  CC 2 years, 8 months ago.

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  • hhrobii
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I had the same problem with one of my horses. He scratched part of his mane & tail out and would lie on the ground over a tree root to scratch his stomach. I have had a great deal of success with SmartPak APF. It comes in a biscuit form & we drop it in his feed. Not only does he eat it first but if we burry it in his feed he will root around until he finds it & still eat it first. We have another horse on it as well due to runny allergy eyes which prompted her to scratch her face & on occasion make one or more of her eyes swell. We love this stuff & it works like a dream!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 5

    My horses became increasingly itchy over the years (19 and 26 years of age). My gelding got to the point he was knocking over fencing and unhanging sliding barn doors. He had weeping sores on his belly and his neck, and other places. He rubbed his mane, forelock, and tail out. After the usual vet treatments for “allergies”, lice, flies, and rain rot, I started researching on the internet. http://thehorsesback.com/neck-threadworms/ is a starting point. Here is a blog with much much more information about underdeworming and help for itching: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?155469-something-to-kill-adult-Onchocerca-19-CASE-STUDIES-POSTED-PAGE-58/page2&s=537bbd0a2c898ac969f1382439386155&highlight=Onchocercca
    It took a while to read through The Chronicle of the Horse Forum on this subject, but I finally talked myself into doing the suggested treatment, even though my vet was quite skeptical. I am the one who does not like chemical this and chemical that for cures. In fact I have been deworming my horses with Diatomaceous Earth…underdeworming. I did the double dose of Equimax / Ivermectin recommendation several times as recommended on the Forum. I now have itch-free content horses. I am back to deworming with Diatomaceous Earth (1 cup daily so I don’t underdose again). I grind flax seed for them daily (1 cup) so it is fed immediately. I was reluctant to do the Equimax / Ivermectin treatment, but I am glad I read up on it and did it. Read, research, talk with your vet. It could be something to consider.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 5

    Have you tried feeding Apple cider vinegar? I’ve found that it works wonders for horses that are itchy! My gelding is terribly allergic to any type of bug bite and will rib himself raw but about an hour after eating the Apple cider vinegar he feels much better. My mare who has a thinning mane ,because she scratches, also seems to do better on it. she doesn’t stop scratching altoether but her hair does grow in faster and thicker. It’s fairly inexpensive to try. I buy the gallon jugs of organic Apple cider vinegar from Costco and depending on the horse I feed up to a cup a day. I hope this helps, I know how difficult it is to make thin makes look nice for shows.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 5

    Kim, where do you get the real peppermint candy. Also, how much alfalfa do you feed? I feed soaked Timothy pellets but maybe adding some alfalfa pellets is a good idea.

    wyoenglishrider wyoenglishrider
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 101

    Kim—thanks for the info! I found your post very helpful & informative, even though I am not the OP. 🙂

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    One of my horses was itchy 2 years ago, I found out that it was fleas, so you might want to check for that and check to see if your horse has dry skin or dandruff.

    DressageRider5 DressageRider5
    Topics Started: 6Replies Posted: 14

    I had a pony at one point who rubbed himself raw on his face, back and everywhere else. We discovered he had sweet itch. Put Listerine and baby oil on him daily, along with fly spray, and super fine mesh fly sheet. Turns out he was allergic to gnats. The real cure on this for us was the Listerine and baby oil. So maybe try this instead of the Listerine and apple cider vinegar. We also kept him in a hot wire field with no trees to scratch on. If it doesn’t improve, the vet may be the best next step. Hope your horse gets better. 🙂

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 5

    my pony was rubbing his tail out and after checking for all of the usuals, like worms etc, I put him on Omega Horseshine. Within a week I noticed him itching less and he has now all but completely stopped. I have also read interesting information about the importance of Magnesium. The Ratio of Calcium: Magnesium of 2:1 is good. If your horse doesn’t have enough Magnesium, like in the spring when the fresh grass is naturally low on it, they become hyper sensitive to stimulants and spooky. I added Magnesium to my horses diet and the spookiness stopped and my mare who was always itching her face and nose during rides has stopped that as well. They also recover faster after workout….tight back muscles can be a sign of Magnesium deficiency. But please check the Ca:Mg ratio.

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    slewelf, thanks for mentioning allergy tests. A vet has to administer them, and they’re not cheap or 100% reliable, but they will help narrow down the field. Our first summer together, Boo, my Morgan mare, got fly bites on her front legs and her face, and when she got hives, I called the vet. She gave me a medicated shampoo and verified she had a fungus along with her allergies that was making her hair fall out. It was 104 most of last summer and I was out there three times a day to apply fly spray, make sure Boo’s fly sheet was still attached, and to feed her some of whatever the vet had given her in pill form. By the end of the summer she was hive-free and had stopped losing hair. I, however, was exhausted. I moved her to a boarding stable, and this spring my vet and I did a lot of preliminary work BEFORE fly season started. That’s when I had the allergy tests done, and so far Boo’s doing well. (She is allergic to one specific kind of night-feeding gnat, and trees and shrubs that are part of our SoCal landscape.) Horses that are allergic to fly bites, in particular, is such a huge problem all over the country that the people who put out the digital version of THE HORSE magazine put together a video of two vets, one an equine dermatologist, discussing how they treated itchy horses. They were unanimous that stabilized flax seed would work in nearly all cases. For horses that really rub themselves raw, an allergy test done by an equine dermatologist is the gold standard, although it’s very expensive. To me, this is a last resort. Good luck to all of us with our itchy horses this summer!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Have you asked the vet about an antihistamine? Might calm the skin if he is itchy.

    Extra fat in his diet helped my QH gelding, alot less skin yuck.

    Good luck.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Make sure your horse does not have thread worms sorry if it’s misspelled

    Patty N.
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    I am working with a horse now that has midline scaby itching from girth line all the way back to hind legs. She is allergic to black flies. We put her on Omega Horseshine and Banixx spray and finally there is significant improvement. I would give these products a try since they are both affordable and available through SmartPak !!!!

    Thank you SmartPak for carrying great products 🙂

    Poway, CA

    joyce north salem
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1


    Not an expert at all but I have a similar problem.

    Itchy Ozzie has been mine for 7 years. He is a Paint/Quarter horse gelding with terrible allergies. He is itchy all summer long.

    Things I tried:
    Allergy testing – gets sublingual allergy medicine daily in increasing doses. This is helping a lot.
    Antihistamines: tried hydroxyzine seemed to affect his personality and did not work very well. Now – he is on benadryl – available OTC without a script.
    Fly predators – did not seem to make a difference.
    Bathing – try Selsun Shampoo or tea tree oil shampoo.
    Turn out – nighttime in the summer
    fly sheets – worth trying but he hated that.
    fly spray – who knows what works????
    Topical treatment – tried baby diaper ointment, veterinarian’s cream, icthamol. maybe they help for itching and soothing.
    Fans in the stall – good for less sweating.

    Those are my techniques for trying to keep him comfortable.

    I’m always looking for anything that will help him.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I have a 27 year old mare that has the same issue. What helps with her is diluted Apple cider vinegar baths, fly spray twice a day and SmartPaks bug off. Even try putting some vinegar in his fly spray and or feed if he will eat it. My mare won’t eat it but some horses will.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 25

    Joyce – I noticed that you never tried flax seed. I tried the same approaches you have with my gelding and none of them were successful (He even developed an allergy to some of the fly sprays). However, after I started feeding a stabilized ground flax seed product (in my case, Glänzen 3, HorseTech.com) the itch went away. I am sure there are other stabilized flax seed products you also can use. You can also feed flax seed, but it must be ground, otherwise it will pass through the GI system whole and just end up in the manure. If you grind it yourself, it must be freshly ground, because the omega-3s will quickly break down when exposed to air.

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