Ask the Vet – How to soothe itching for a sensitive horse


SARAH: How do you soothe itching for a horse
who is sensitive to bug bites? DR. LYDIA GRAY: Well, I think the first thing
is to figure out what’s going on. Bug bites are the number one cause of itching
and actually hives, which are the little bumps and welts on horses. Urticaria is the scientific word. So you got to figure out why that’s going
on first. But to relieve a horse’s itchiness and to
bring down the swelling, I’m a huge fan of cold hosing. Very rarely is hosing ever a bad thing. And it feels– you know, if you’ve done it
yourself, you’ve got a bug bite or something, putting cold water on it, or even ice, feels
really good. Fans feel good. If you find a topical that works, use it. There are some soothing shampoos and sprays. Some are prescription, so you need your vet
to get involved. And always, your vet should be involved in
this. SARAH: If your horse is having a reaction. DR. LYDIA GRAY: Yeah, yeah. Some sprays, topicals, shampoos, conditioners
you can buy over the counter. So if you find something that works, keep
using it. I would say most of those you will need to
apply them and leave them on for a while. You don’t apply them and immediately rinse. It might be 5, 10, 15 minutes for them to
actually soak into the skin and have their effect. So those are the things that I would use to
relieve the itching. But I think the first step is to back up and
find out, make sure you know why your horse is itching. When it’s bug bites, I think we talked about
it last time to put a fly sheet on. I used the word leggings, which you said was
very 1980s. SARAH: It’s accurate. DR. LYDIA GRAY: So there are ways to reduce your
horse’s appeal to insects, whether it’s from the outside or the inside, feeding them something
that has garlic and apple cider and brewer’s yeast. And there’s also products that you feed through
fly control that don’t allow the larvae to grow up to be adult flies. So there’s lots of things they can do. And it’s sort of a multi-pronged approach.


3 Responses

  1. Penelope Prudence

    September 16, 2016 4:31 pm

    My miniature horse has a skin irritation like she has chronic dandruff on her back. I think it is rain rot I've been washing her with antibacterial soap and it hasn't be working what else can I do to help my mini?


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