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Kazzy
Platinum Member


England

3335 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  10:16:43 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Kazzy to your friends list Send Kazzy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Has you may be aware I moved Kazzy to a new home and took under my wing 3 other horses in the bargain.

Well one of them suffers sweet itch, I have never had a horse with this problem and only know the basics about it, I have read a lot about it on the internet and thought the best idea would be to ask for advice on here from people who have horses who suffer this.

The mare in question wasnt too bad last year with it but have since found a Boett rug in the old tack room that Roger (who owns the place) said his Mum used to put on her in the summer time.

Anyone know when is the best time to put it on? I know from reading various webistes they keep them on 24/7. AT the moment she obviously has her outdoor rug on.

I cant stand by and watch her suffer if I can help in anyway, its not
in my genes to do it.

Any other advice would be most grateful

Janet



Sunny Cheshire
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Nichole Waller
Gold Member


England
1168 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  10:32:32 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Nichole Waller to your friends list Send Nichole Waller a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a mare with Sweet Itch. It's hard work to manage but if you looked at my mare you would never know she had it.

The boet rugs are the best thing for sweet itch. I've found the lotions and potions (of which there are many) just don't work and they make a lot of mess...

My mare lives in over night in the winter and is out 24/7 from spring onwards. As soon as she goes out overnight then she needs to have the boet rug on as the midges are at their worst at dusk and dawn.

I bring her in every couple of days and take the rug off and give her a good brush which she really enjoys. I also take the rug off to ride her. When she is being ridden i cover her in deet spray which keeps the midges off for a few hours. If your horse needs a hood then they really appreciate having this off regularly and the ears collect all the loose hair so need emptying out regularly.

You really need two rugs if possible (but they are quite expensive) so that you can wash one and have a replacement one while the other one is drying. Alternatively you just have to leave them in the stable for a day while it drys. I find it best to wash them every other week depending on how scurfy or itchy the horse is.

Snuggy Hoods do a sweet itch rug which is slightly cheaper. It works well but only lasted me about two years, where my boet i've had for about five years. (it has a lot of patches on it now though...!)

The sweet-itch help line also do a cream which is good for udders and sheath etc if they get bitten in those areas. (This is the only one i've found to work - but again it's expensive...!)

I find poo picking the fields definitely makes a difference as it reduces the number of midges and flies. Also if possible you need a field that is on a hill and preferably with not a lot of trees and bushes surrounding it. And steer clear of fields that have ponds or marshy areas that the midges love.

I could tell you loads more, but see how you get on and PM me if you need any more help. Good luck.!

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Pop
Platinum Member


England
3051 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  10:41:54 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Pop to your friends list Send Pop a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think 24/7 is best, potentially from the beginning of March to the end of October, obviously if the weather is such that there can be no midges then you can change that but I saw some last week when the weather was a bit better. I believe that you can put them under a normal rug. The secret is to get it on before they get bitten, once they are bitten the scratching starts and trouble starts and the rug gets destroyed. I know someone who felt sorry for their pony in the heat of summer and took the rug off ... big mistake. When riding, I used pig oil, if the midges land on it they get stuck. Its important to take care that they don't get bitten when riding.

I have tried everything; and many things work to an extent, but a boet rug does work. Pig Oil certainly works and I think you can mix with citronela for better results, Brewers yeast (think about 7 tabs for a 15hh) Sudacrem on sensative parts (again, the midges get stuck), those little sheets you put in tumble dryers - tie them to the rug to repel midges in any rug areas you think they may get thru. Grow lavendar near water troughs and anywhere midges like to live. Stabling is sometimes recommened, but unless you shut the top door, the midges hang around the entrance and get them when they have their head over the door or even venture in to hang around the water bucket.

I think there are steroid injections but I never really wanted to go that route.

Hope that helps. I have a list somewhere, will try to find it.

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Kazzy
Platinum Member


England
3335 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  10:54:31 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kazzy to your friends list Send Kazzy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your replies its most helpful.

There was actally 2 Boett rugs but one was wrecked!!! And I also found a lot of lotions and potions but I dont think i shall use them because they could be out of date. She is the sweetest of mares and lets you do anything with her so i might bath her a few times like it said on the Sweet Itch website, they also mentioned some kind of oily potion to put on them because midges dont like oily surfaces.

Like I said have never had a horse with sweet Itch so am a bit of a beginer with it all, I think the Steriod jab is out of the question because the vet she used before injected her with it and she came down with laminitis so its a no no from now on.

The field she is in with the others is perfect according to the Sweet Itch wesbite, its quite hilly and has a lovely breeze in the summer and a field shelter, its not anywhere near any streams and the field is not atall boggy, its very dry.

Thanks again anyway.

janet



Sunny Cheshire
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Susie T
Silver Member

257 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  11:19:20 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Susie T to your friends list Send Susie T a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a friend with a minature shetland that suffers from sweetitch and she swears by marmite! She gives him a ryvita with marmite on everyday and never has a problem. Weird, but might be worth a try!

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Delyth
Gold Member

United Kingdom
1425 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  11:21:25 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Delyth to your friends list Send Delyth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Reading with interest as I have one that started just last summer. I'm in the process of gettng a Boett rug (gulp !!) and have been advised to try him on Global Herbs. I've got Super Skratch but it is quite smelly. He's just starting on it gradually now - shall we report back in June :)
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sarahlock
Platinum Member


England
1535 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  12:52:28 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sarahlock to your friends list Send sarahlock a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Both of mine got it when they were 2 yr olds , at first i got them both Rambo Sweet itch hoody`s but they were too tight across their chest so u`d really need to go up a size & i found they got quite hot in them!

Riff Raff past vests are the best i`ve found so far as they are much roomier than the Rambo`s & are made of a fine mesh so are alot cooler , mine are on a hill & away from trees & have access to their stables 24/7 .

I dont leave their rugs on during the day when its hot or breezy but put them on around 6pm before the midges appear & spray their underneaths & legs with "Buzz Off" Superdrug`s own mosquito spray (which contains DEET)

I wash their manes & tails weekly & then apply Sudacream mixed with Benzoyl Benzoate & it stops them feeling itchy & rubbing their hair out , infact no one would know they suffered from it by looking at them !
This will be my 16th summer of sweet itch care !


Brixham (South Devon )

Edited by - sarahlock on 09 Feb 2010 12:55:03 PM
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Delyth
Gold Member

United Kingdom
1425 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  1:11:12 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Delyth to your friends list Send Delyth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This will be my 16th summer of sweet itch care !

I'm now quietly sobbing in the corner !!
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Mrs Vlacq
Platinum Member


Wales
3776 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  1:19:28 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mrs Vlacq to your friends list Send Mrs Vlacq a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Boett goes on in February and stays on 24/7 until November! Alison and the rest of the gang at the SI centre will offer lots of advice. The rugs will get wrecked if you have hedges or wire though... which is a shame when you've forked out over 150 for a blanket! Get it on now, before she starts rubbing. Once they've started, they will trash anything you put on them. The riff Raff rug is also good, and cheap enough to have as the spare, when the boett is in the wash!


- V Khazad - V Calacirya & V Sulime - Quarida(L) - V Boogie Knights - V Hamra Tofiq
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Kazzy
Platinum Member


England
3335 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  1:56:30 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kazzy to your friends list Send Kazzy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks again for your replies.

Delyth I might try Global Herbs because I use to swear by them with my Laminetic mare I used to use the Laminitis prone supplement and the Bute alternative for her and I thought it helped her out a lot even my vet and farrier could tell the difference.

Rose is the horse with Sweet Itch and she's a greedy little monkey so i think she will eat Global herbs producst because they are very strong tasting ans smelling.

Janet



Sunny Cheshire
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sarahlock
Platinum Member


England
1535 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  2:21:30 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sarahlock to your friends list Send sarahlock a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Delyth

This will be my 16th summer of sweet itch care !

I'm now quietly sobbing in the corner !!

No Delyth its honestly not that bad i promise

I see horses that don`t suffer from it swishing their tails & rubbing on trees & those dreaded midges used to eat me alive until i discovered the Buzz off spray !
Once mine have their rugs on & i`ve sprayed them i see them grazing amongst those dreaded midges without their tails swishing ...Job done !


Brixham (South Devon )

Edited by - sarahlock on 09 Feb 2010 2:23:40 PM
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fidodido
Gold Member


England
797 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  2:28:42 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add fidodido to your friends list Send fidodido a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with the 24/7 and putting it on BEFORE they start to rub. I put my mares on as soon as her winter rugs come off. I also put a sweetitch type oil lotion on her mane about once a week just to make sure that any stray midges can't get a bite of her, as it's more diffcult with something like an oil for them to take a bite.

If you can catch it earlier enough (when there youngsters) and stop the cycle you may be able to stop it from becoming full blown, as they do get worse with each year that goes by.

Yeast is also a good thing to feed as it's full of B12 and i'm sure i read somewhere (think it was the nettex site) that this is what is in Cavalesse the treatment you get from the vet.

I always cover in fly spray too (Leovet Power Phaser is a very good one, but it really stinks), and NEVER feed them Garlic.

Angie

P.S i'm in my 7th year and would NEVER have another with sweetitch, i've sobbed in a corner many a time Delyth LOL!.
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sarahlock
Platinum Member


England
1535 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  3:01:55 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sarahlock to your friends list Send sarahlock a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes mine have theirs on as soon as winter rugs are off & no i`d never buy a sweet itch sufferer as my life revolves around them & those blessed midges all summer

Unfortunately my mare passed it on to her daughter yet my friend`s mare had a foal that never inherited her mum`s dreaded itch .

Oh & if anyone is thinking of quietly sobbing in the corner please make sure your hands are Benzoyl free before rubbing your eyes


Brixham (South Devon )
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Pop
Platinum Member


England
3051 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  3:20:51 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Pop to your friends list Send Pop a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Saralock - LOVVVVVVL

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Delyth
Gold Member

United Kingdom
1425 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  4:31:02 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Delyth to your friends list Send Delyth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
At what age did everyone's start ?? As babies or something that developed later/much later ?? I've never had anything like this and was overjoyed last year as you can all imagine !!

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fidodido
Gold Member


England
797 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  4:47:24 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add fidodido to your friends list Send fidodido a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know what age my mare started with it as i bought her not knowing she had it, at rising 6 years old (she was in very bad condition, bought straight of a field on new years day covered in mud, rainscald and mudfever), was told that her foal had chewed alot of her mane.

When she was returned to health and the midges started it was very clear she had sweetitch. It has however got worse as each year as gone by (you wouldn't really know to look at her apart from a part of her mane she rubbed out last year when she ripped her neck cover ) and she will run away from any type of fly even none biting ones.

We have a young partbred mare on our yard who is given no protection (apart from the odd application of switch) at all and she is a mess. Her coat, mane and tail are awful and she gets a form of dermatitis with the constant rubbing, i beleive she started as a 2 year old and is now rising 4.
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sarahlock
Platinum Member


England
1535 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  6:25:58 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sarahlock to your friends list Send sarahlock a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Both of mine got in in their 3rd summer ( as 2yr olds )


Brixham (South Devon )
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Meggie-Lu
Platinum Member


England
1519 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2010 :  8:53:09 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Meggie-Lu to your friends list Send Meggie-Lu a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think u shuld all give ur horses 2 me! I live in Lowestoft on the suffolk coast i have never seen a horse with sweet itch down here!!! Lol

Danger Mouse
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Nichole Waller
Gold Member


England
1168 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2010 :  10:24:15 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Nichole Waller to your friends list Send Nichole Waller a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My mare's started when she was about 10 (so 7 years ago this year). It does appear to get worse each year.

I've tried the 'trial drug' that the sweet itch helpline are trying to develop. It doesn't completely cure it but it does help and the symptoms are not as bad. I think i've used it 4 years on the trot now.

Before i used this drug she used to get bitten on her udders and on the armpits of both front legs (both areas that the boet rug doesn't cover). I tried an udder guard (which boet make) but when she peed she kept filing it up with wee... So i took it off and went back to the 'Pure Gold' ointment that SI helpline sell. This works well cos the midges get stuck in it but when they swish their tail it flicks onto the grease and they end up with a really guncky tail....

Since she had the injections and then the drug from SI helpline she doesn't get bitten in these areas anymore so no more need for guncky mess...

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Delyth
Gold Member

United Kingdom
1425 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2010 :  10:30:34 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Delyth to your friends list Send Delyth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
10 !! Oh crikey - do you breed from her ??
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Nichole Waller
Gold Member


England
1168 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2010 :  10:45:35 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Nichole Waller to your friends list Send Nichole Waller a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No never bred from my mare. She is the Bay jumping in my signature picture. She is 3/4 welsh section D and 1/4 arab.

My intentions when i bought her at 18 months old was to put her to an Arab stallion when she was older and produce my dream baby... However she was diagnosed with Arthritis in her right hind hock when she was only 5. I asked my vet's advice and they said breeding from her could mean the foal also developed Arthritis at an early age so i decided not to take the risk.

She has developed arthritis in many other joints since then so i'm glad i stuck to my original decision.

She has been a challenging mare to own and ride but i wouldn't be without her.

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Kazzy
Platinum Member


England
3335 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2010 :  11:19:12 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kazzy to your friends list Send Kazzy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
After reading more into Sweet Itch I now find that they can become allergic to midge bites at any time in their lives!!!

They are not necassarily born with it!!

Janet



Sunny Cheshire
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Gerri
Platinum Member


England
4210 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2010 :  3:24:17 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Gerri to your friends list Send Gerri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No they are not born with it...... Milly has just started, hardly any tail left......not at the top (dock) which is strange but at the bottom and she has started rubbing her mane against anything which is breaking my heart as she has a very fine mane and tail at the best of times it has taken 17 years to show itself, but reading this thread is fab as I will now buy some of these boet rugs as my new black mare rubbed herself raw on the trees a couple of days after she arrived too but it is really hot here in the summer reaching well over 100% so I put it down to her not being used to the heat and then I thought maybe she was re acting to the baths I was giving her. Oh dear, we would have a very boring life if we didn't have the horses........well I would anyway
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Delyth
Gold Member

United Kingdom
1425 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2010 :  4:24:14 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Delyth to your friends list Send Delyth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My dilemma is if it is genetic then should I breed with the colt who has it ?? I had his great-granny, I have his granny & mother and nothing. I knew his great, great granny - nothing. His father is OK, his fathers father is ok and his father fathers father was ok bla bla bla !!! But he scratched himself silly towards the end of last summer.
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fidodido
Gold Member


England
797 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2010 :  4:37:35 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add fidodido to your friends list Send fidodido a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always planned on breeding from my mare at some point, but would have the same dilemma as you Delyth. I did speak to here breeder who said neither of her parents had it. My mare has had one foal in the past for a previous owner, but the last time i saw her she was about 6 months old. I have tried to trace her to see if she has it or not, but have been unsuccessful .

If you can get a grip of it this year before the midges start you may be able to stop it or lessen it. I would speak to your vets about Cavalesse and see what they say, as it's only an allergy and i'm sure if caught soon enough you may be able to stop it.
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paulac
New Member


England
20 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2010 :  01:06:23 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add paulac to your friends list Send paulac a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am dreading spring. my 4 year old mare got it 2 years ago and last year nothing worked at all and she succeeded in rubbing the whole of her mane off and the top of her tail!!! I tried all sorts last year and nothing seemed to work except benzol!! i am trying global herbs skratch in her feed this yr and an oily lick they do 2 prevent midgies they also advised that i dont feed her garlick as this drys out the skin and can cause them 2 itch. Her mane has grown back and is about 2 inches long.... bless her. U will probably see me about in novice mares this year.... ill be the one with no mane again!!! knowing my look . My only problem is my field is surrounded by trees and she like going in them so may invest in one of these rugs ur all talking about any advice is greatly appreciated or if anyone knows a good product 2 make manes grow back super fast??? x

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