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Sweet Itch In Horses And Sweet Itch Management

Sweet Itch In Horses And Sweet Itch Management

BES - Managing Director - Gilly |

Sweet Itch In Horses And Sweet Itch Management

Sweet itch, also known as summer seasonal recurrent dermatitis (SSRD) or Culicoides hypersensitivity, is a common skin condition in horses. It's caused by an allergic reaction to the bites of Culicoides midges, also known as "no-see-ums" or biting midges. These midges are most active during the summer months, hence the name "summer itch." Sweet itch tends to affect horses with hypersensitive immune systems and is more prevalent in certain breeds such as Icelandic horses, Shires, and Welsh Cobs.

Symptoms of sweet itch may include:

  1. Severe itching, especially along the mane, tail, withers, and belly.
  2. Hair loss, particularly in the affected areas.
  3. Crusty or scabby skin lesions.
  4. Rubbing and scratching against objects.
  5. Skin inflammation and thickening.
  6. Secondary bacterial infections due to constant scratching.

Management and treatment of sweet itch typically involve a combination of environmental management, topical treatments, and sometimes oral medications. Here are some approaches:

  1. Fly Control: Implementing measures to reduce midge populations around the horse's environment can help. This may include using