Eliminate Sweet Itch From Your Horse’s Life
Anyone with a horse with sweet itch knows it is awful to watch the animal itch and rub as they look for anything to give a moment of relief. Imagine how painful it is to be irritated and not be able to scratch. Horses will rub on anything the can find — from fences to trees and stall doors. They even drop to the dirt to rub their bellies back and forth on the earth.
In untreated cases, their hair coat, mane and tail may be rubbed out. Sometimes their skin is raw. Many horse owners spend hundreds of dollars on liters of fly spray every season. Then the same owners turn around and spend even more repairing fences which have been damaged by tormented horses.
What Is Sweet Itch?
Sweet Itch, often called summer eczema, is caused by a hypersensitivity to insect bites normally flies, mosquitoes and biting midges — or ‘no-see-ums.’
Sensitivity levels vary based on immunity and skin conditions. Sensitive horses attract more bites and have greater allergic reactions to bites. The result is greater pain, itching and suffering.
A horse’s skin has a protective layer called the “acid mantle.” The acid mantle is a layer of lactic acid which guards the skin from bacteria, parasites and infections. The acid mangle may be damaged by poor nutrition, stress, blood toxins and even food allergies. A horse with these as a baseline is often predisposed to inflammation, infection and a variety of skin conditions. The opportunistic insects are drawn to the weakened condition.
Build Up The Immune System
A good product would not only provide relief but also speak to the underlying cause. The key to sweet itch elimination is to neutralize the horse’s allergic reactions, so something which can detoxify their blood and liver while restoring the acid mantle was needed.
Many horse owners have found a blend of Goldenseal, Tea Tree Oil, Vitamin C and light Olive Oil to be effective. The mixture may be used internally and externally and can also be put on the horse’s open sores.
In addition to building up the immune system, sweet itch horses should not be given any high sugar feeds or grains such as oats, barley and corn. Avoid giving the animal added fats which intoxicate the liver, aggravate allergy reactions and compromise the horse’s immune system.