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Itchy Horse

My horse seems to be itchy and scratching all the time, what can I use to help him?

Usually an itch in a horse is caused by either a bacterial or fungal cause or from biting insects like mites, mosquitoes, flies or from ticks.

If it looks like the horse is itching due to being bitten by insects you need to try and repel and stop the insects from biting. Try using some insect repellent like Brute Wipe on Insecticidal for Horses 500ml or Flygon GOLD Insecticidal and Repellent Spray. Any bites can cause initial itching but they can also cause an allergic reaction causing severe itching and sometimes damaging the skin. Queensland Itch or Sweet Itch is a common itch caused by an allergic reaction to the saliva of biting insects and can prove to be difficult to combat. To soothe and heal the damaged skin I suggest trying Heritage Downs Coat Oil. If possible try to put a good quality rug and neck rug on the horse to put a barrier between the coat and the insects.

If your horse has ticks this can cause itching and allergic reactions as well more serious health conditions. To remove and repel ticks spray Permoxin on the coat every two weeks.

If the reason for the itch is bacterial or fungal, like rain scald, you need to wash the horse with an antibacterial and antifungal shampoo like Malaseb Medicated Foam, allowing it to sit on the coat for at least ten minutes and then gently remove any scabbing before rinsing. This should be repeated every couple of days and try and remove any dead skin, scabs and excess hair.

If the itching continues with no relief you should contact your veterinarian and seek advice or the horse may need an antihistamine injection.

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