Could it be sweet itch?

Tiffany

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When my girl comes in for part of the day she is scratching her neck/mane on the stable door frame and her mane has now got scabs in it. She's never had this before and someone has said it could be sweet itch.

She's never had this problem before, she's not rubbing her tail and the only change to her routine this year is that she is a different field which is next to a small pond.

Could it be sweet itch and if so what's the best treatment for it?

Thanks
 

_HP_

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If it is sweet itch then covering her with a sweet itch rug is the best treatment and moving her away from the pond.
Have you checked for lice and other nasties?
Sweet itch is an allergy to midge saliva so you need to stop her being bitten but it does usually affect more than one area...usually mane, tail and face and/ or belly
 

Tiffany

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Thanks HP - it's only her mane although I did think maybe being near the pond may have something to do with it. She's got a fly rug on with neck and belly cover and tonight I've rubbed midge away on which I'm hoping with help?
 

Honey08

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Sounds like it may be. Although even our two without sweetitch will come in itchy if there are lots of midges around. We found a few piriton helps, plus rubbing an aloe gel into the mane/tail soothes it and stops them scratching so much. I would keep the fly rug on and the midge creams also help.
 

muckypony

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My boy started this about a month ago. Just his mane and very occasionally the top of his tail. I've just bought him the premier equine SI rug and its the best thing I've done! He hasnt rubbed at all since.. Wish I'd bought it a month ago before he rubbed a chunk out of his mane!
 

Tiffany

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I bought her a new fly rug this year because that's all she's ever worn in the 12 years I've owned her.
Not seen her scratching in the field because there's nothing really to scratch on but she makes up for it when she comes in :(
Will keep a neck on, apply a soothing gel and try some Piriton or similar and hope it helps.
Thanks for replies so far :)
 

Gloi

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If she's never done it before don't automatically think it is sweet itch before making sure she has no parasites of any sort making her itch.
 

Tiffany

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Checked for parasites and nothing found. Her coat and tail are fine it is literally just her mane. Will make sure she wears a rug with a neck on to give some protection. Vet coming to yard on Tuesday so will ask him to have a look if no different.
 

Kacey88

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Hi Tiffany,

Just thought I'd let you know my mare is like this too. Started last August and ended in September. Not really bothering her this year, but I started using fly spray a few weeks ago so maybe that's why. Some people have told me I'm just paranoid, and midges make most horses itch in the evening. She has never broken skin, but has broken hairs. I would love to know for definite if it is sweet itch, but its so mild that a diagnosis probably wouldn't make much difference. I have a fly rug for her just in case it gets bad. Do they have to have broken skin to be diagnosed? Someone told me this. I think with no treatment/rugs etc the worst mine would do is thin out the top of her mane and make a few hairs stand up on her tail. My area has lots of flies though.

Let me know how your girl is getting on :)
 

STRIKER

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Yes, but do worm with ivermectin for the neck thread worms which cause the allergic reaction to the midge bite to be worse. Use neem oil or spray to repel.
 
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