Feeds that might make a horse itchy?

Marigold4

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 May 2017
Messages
1,370
6 year old horse has become very itchy this summer, particularly rubbing his tail but itchy to a certain extent all over. He's developed a slight cough when exercised. Tested neg for pinworm. Cleaned his sheath. Wears heavy duty fly rug against midges. Out at grass apart from 6 hours per day when he's stabled. Changed in the past 12 months to Thunderbrooks chaff and TB meadow nuts and Country meadow haylage when in.

Any thoughts on what might make an unitchy horse itchy? I've owned him for 4 years and it's only this last 12 months that he's been itchy. Could it be his feed?
 

Pearlsasinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 February 2009
Messages
39,409
Location
W. Yorks
Yes, I think it probably is his feed. All you can do is stop the lot and then introduce single ingredient feeds one at a time to see if that makes any difference. And apart from the itching, the cough is a dead give-away.
I would try to cut out everything for 3 weeks to give him a break to get over whatever it is that is causing the problem.
 
Last edited:

Marigold4

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 May 2017
Messages
1,370
Yes, I think it probably is his feed. All you can do is stop the lot and then introduce single ingredient feeds one at a time to see if that makes any difference. And apart from the itching, the cough is a dead give-away.
I would try to cut out everything for 3 weeks to give him a break to get over whatever it is that is causing the problem.

Thanks for replying. From tonight I'm reducing the feed so its only soaked TB nuts. I'll do that for a couple of weeks and see if it helps. If not I'll cut out the TB chaff as well.
 

olop

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 May 2003
Messages
1,376
Anything with molasses in. My boy used to suffer terribly with sweet itch when he was younger as soon as I stopped the feed with molasses in the itching stopped.
 

Pinkvboots

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 August 2010
Messages
15,773
Location
Hertfordshire
One of mine gets itchy in summer only rubs his mane though and I put him on a supplement and his definitely better it's herdleader oral itch solution, I used cavalese last year but have found this stuff better.

I normally use a shire sweet itch rug on him but his hardly had it on this year and his not rubbed his mane so far
 

ILuvCowparsely

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 April 2010
Messages
13,603
6 year old horse has become very itchy this summer, particularly rubbing his tail but itchy to a certain extent all over. He's developed a slight cough when exercised. Tested neg for pinworm. Cleaned his sheath. Wears heavy duty fly rug against midges. Out at grass apart from 6 hours per day when he's stabled. Changed in the past 12 months to Thunderbrooks chaff and TB meadow nuts and Country meadow haylage when in.

Any thoughts on what might make an unitchy horse itchy? I've owned him for 4 years and it's only this last 12 months that he's been itchy. Could it be his feed?
alfafa can make them itchy
 

Lois Lame

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 May 2018
Messages
1,214
6 year old horse has become very itchy this summer, particularly rubbing his tail but itchy to a certain extent all over. He's developed a slight cough when exercised. Tested neg for pinworm. Cleaned his sheath. Wears heavy duty fly rug against midges. Out at grass apart from 6 hours per day when he's stabled. Changed in the past 12 months to Thunderbrooks chaff and TB meadow nuts and Country meadow haylage when in.

Any thoughts on what might make an unitchy horse itchy? I've owned him for 4 years and it's only this last 12 months that he's been itchy. Could it be his feed?
I would suspect the feed. I'd be weaning him off that and going onto something else.
 

Marigold4

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 May 2017
Messages
1,370
So here are the ingredients of his feed: chaff is meadow grasses, linseed oil, dried mint, chamomile and lemon balm leaves; the nuts are "meadow grasses and herbage". No alfalfa or soy or garlic.

Anything stand out as "itch-causing"?
 

Marigold4

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 May 2017
Messages
1,370
One of mine gets itchy in summer only rubs his mane though and I put him on a supplement and his definitely better it's herdleader oral itch solution, I used cavalese last year but have found this stuff better.

I normally use a shire sweet itch rug on him but his hardly had it on this year and his not rubbed his mane so far
Does the oral itch smell strongly? I tried a Global Herb one and he threw his bucket across the stable in disgust.
 

Marigold4

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 May 2017
Messages
1,370
Anything with molasses in. My boy used to suffer terribly with sweet itch when he was younger as soon as I stopped the feed with molasses in the itching stopped.
Thanks for replying. Checked but no molasses to be seen in ingredients lists.
 

Marigold4

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 May 2017
Messages
1,370
Mollasses and anything sugary; Carrots can have a negative effect (Beta Carotene) - my little coblet mare turned into a Demon when I just gave her a few; & Garlic - which my vet said to avoid like the plague if you have a horse with sweet itch.
Thanks for replying. Checked but no molasses or garlic to be seen in ingredients lists.
 

Pinkvboots

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 August 2010
Messages
15,773
Location
Hertfordshire
Does the oral itch smell strongly? I tried a Global Herb one and he threw his bucket across the stable in disgust.
No smells of nothing it's a clear liquid you literally sprinkle 20mls on top of the feed don't mix it in and feed immediately I then sprinkle a bit of dry chaff over it my horse eats it fine and he can refuse feed with some supplements.
 

palo1

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 July 2012
Messages
5,046
I think linseed can cause my mare to itch and withdrawing it (and all forms of sugar beet) has appeared to help with a seasonal respiratory issue too. Suprising to me but every day is a school day!!
 

maya2008

Well-Known Member
Joined
10 August 2018
Messages
1,398
Lice. We got them this year for the first time in 19 years… Completely invisible on the darker coated horses.
 

VioletStripe

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 July 2008
Messages
4,279
Location
Kent/Sussex Borders
My boy was terribly itchy last summer and we never got to the bottom of the cause tbh....

I wormed him for pinworm - he tested negative but vets and I were at our wits end and wormed him anyway - apparently the tests can be hit and miss and they only tend to test positive with a very high burden?

I washed him in medical shampoo a couple of times thoroughly and rinsed even more thoroughly, using a body brush to work the shampoo into his skin and get really really in there.

Lots of fly spray.

Cut out as much sugar as possible from his diet, and got rid of absolutely all alfalfa and soya. I put him on Brewers Yeast too which did wonders for his skin, coat and hooves generally. To mix supplements etc in I just had him on speedibeet - previously he was on pink mash.

He also had a cough but that was mainly straw induced - switching bedding and moving to an outside facing stable (previously in a barn) completely stopped that.

Eventually he stopped, after all of the above. I tried to eliminate things one by one but he was so itchy he was pulling off his back shoes often while trying to itch, I ended up ditching and doing everything I could and it seemed to stop.
 

Marigold4

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 May 2017
Messages
1,370
Update: changed his feed and haylage - still early days to see if this works. Gave him a bath with insecticidal and soothing shampoos. Benzyl benzoate helped a little. He's still throwing himself against stable doors and walls to scratch himself and has rubbed tail raw now. Vet came today and gave him a steroid injection, checked for bites and bumps = none. We are going to do an allergy test. Luckily, he's insured.
 

Flying_Form

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 January 2022
Messages
62
6 year old horse has become very itchy this summer, particularly rubbing his tail but itchy to a certain extent all over. He's developed a slight cough when exercised. Tested neg for pinworm. Cleaned his sheath. Wears heavy duty fly rug against midges. Out at grass apart from 6 hours per day when he's stabled. Changed in the past 12 months to Thunderbrooks chaff and TB meadow nuts and Country meadow haylage when in.

Any thoughts on what might make an unitchy horse itchy? I've owned him for 4 years and it's only this last 12 months that he's been itchy. Could it be his feed?
Mine had a very weird reaction to garlic granules for her arthritis - broke out in hives and then they scabbed up! Never considered it could be an allergen as I give it to many of my others with no problems but now I slowly introduce it! I’ve learned my lesson!!
 
Top