Horse Sweet Itch
Aardora helps speed healing in three ways. First, Aardora's unique moisturizers soothe itch, irritation, redness and swelling to deter the over-scratching of your horse's Sweet Itch rash. Second, Aardora serves as an antimicrobial dressing in order to protect raw bumpy skin from harmful germs (bacteria and fungus). Lastly, Aardora’s Active Earth Elements™ draw toxins and allergens away from your horse's skin while providing essential mineral nutrients. Guaranteed results with no reported side effects.
About Sweet Itch, Causes & Symptoms:
One of the more disturbing experiences a horse owner can have is to arrive at the barn and see a horse covered in bumps. The horse itself may not act like it notices, or if the condition is very itchy, the horse may be rubbing itself vigorously against the stall walls.
Sweet itch, also known as Queensland itch, Summer Itch or Summer Sores, is an allergic skin disease that can flare up when horses are bitten by a tiny (2-3 mm) species of midge (gnat) called Culicoides. If the horse has sensitivity to the saliva of this midge, they will experience localized irritation and itch, most likely on the belly, mane and tail. In less common cases, the neck, withers, hips, ears and forehead will be affected. And in severe cases, symptoms will be present on the mid-line of the belly, the saddle area, the sides of the head, the sheath or udder and the legs.
Since biting midges develop in wet, marshy or swampy semi-aquatic areas, symptoms usually present in wet seasons: spring, summer and fall. However, sometimes severe cases persist in the winter months. Sweet itch is most commonly seen in horses from 4 to 6 years of age because the allergy requires a few summers of repeated exposure to fly bites. The signs of sweet itch can get worse as the animal gets older.
Although the itch and swelling alone are not dangerous, the horse's reaction (rubbing, biting) can cause reddened, open and yellow fluid-filled crusty lesions. Your horse may swish its tail vigorously and roll around in an attempt to scratch itself against anything within reach. Or, if there’s nothing to rub against, your horse may scratch itself with its hind feet and bite vigorously at the affected areas. If your horse is desperate enough, it may event drag itself along the ground to scratch its belly or sit bent over so it can scratch the top of its tail.
Other symptoms are a thickening of the skin and flaky dandruff. Since these areas can be highly irritated, raw and open, they run a high risk of secondary infection and must be treated quickly before they turn into more serious wounds.
How to Care for a Horse with Sweet Itch:
To relieve your horse’s discomfort, itch and inflammation, use a fast-acting and soothing topical cream. A topical (surface) skin protectant, such as Aardora, will also lower your horse’s risk of infection, particularly if their skin is extremely irritated and raw. And, of course, treating your horse with an extra dose of TLC (tender loving care) will help him or her to heal more comfortably. Give your horse extra hugs, treats, and attention.
After you’ve directly treated your horse’s skin, try to restrict their access to the wound site (if possible) by covering the affected area with bandages, using a muzzle, or placing them in an environment that has few hard surfaces to rub against. In the first few days of treatment, monitor your horse frequently daily to make sure that the lesions are not expanding.
During the Healing Process...
Throughout the healing process, try to maintain your horse’s overall health by obeying a consistent high-quality equine diet regimen and using non-irritating grooming products. Keep in mind that a horse can develop dry, dull or itchy skin in reaction to a malnourished diet, over-bathing, under-brushing or to a chemical-filled shampoo. Finally, keep stalls clean and dry so that bacteria, fungus and parasites don't have a place to breed. And, keep fields clean from irritating brush, stinging nettles, etc.