Itchy horse? Our top protection picks!

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Itchy horse? Our top protection picks!

Is your horse beginning to itch? Itch season is among us and sadly for horse owners who have an itchy horse this means waging a relentless war on biting insects, specifically midges, that irritate their horse and can cause extreme discomfort.

Itch, scientifically known as Equine Culicoides Hypersensitivity, is a medical condition caused by an allergic response to the bites and saliva of Culicoides (midges) and itch most often occurs in horses living in warmer humid climates, such as the Mid Coast, where we all reside.

Itch is usually a seasonal problem, with symptoms typically occurring during the hot and wet months between October and April.

Symptoms include a seasonally itchy horse, rub sores and hair loss around the face, ears, neck, along the top of the back and base of the tail, and in severe cases horses create open wounds and abscesses from continuous scratching. Often horses who suffer badly with itch will develop swollen and thickened skin after a long period of chronic skin inflammation and can develop skin pigment changes.

Minimising your horse’s exposure to midges will minimise their symptoms and can help prevent a horse without itch from developing it.

Here are our top picks for protecting your horse…

Absorbine Ultrashield

UltraShield is Absorbine's most advanced fly and insect repellent, designed to stay on and continue working in the harshest of conditions. This fly spray is proven protection for your equine friend, delivering fly, midge, and mosquito control.

Ultrashield controls and repels susceptible flies, mosquitoes, and nuisance insects including house fly, stable fly, bot fly, mosquitoes, and midges for the management and prevention of itch.

Ultrashield contains multiple sunscreens and coat conditioners, including aloe and lanolin, and it has a pleasant citronella scent.

The handy spray can be used all over your horse and on surfaces to keep insects out of your stable area.

Calafea Oil

Calafea Horse Itch Oil is a totally 100 per cent natural oil for horses suffering from itch and sting itch. It rapidly relieves the irritation associated with these itches and begins to repair the damaged skin. It also prevents and repels midges, mosquitoes, mites and ticks.

Calafea Oil is a pure oil, and an all-natural remedy for any horse with stressed and dry skin, containing Lemon Myrtle, Liquid Virgin Coconut Oil, Neem Oil and Black Cumin Seed Oil. To help sooth and manage itch use Calafea Oil at least 3 times per week.

Kool Master PVC mesh combo

This summer horse rug is the ultimate in fly protection. What makes this horse rug so effective in keeping nasty bugs away is the weight. Weighing approximately 2.7kgs, the heavy PVC Shade Mesh Combo eliminates the likelihood of bugs getting trapped underneath.

With the strength and durability to outlast harsh UV rays, the mesh guarantees maximum breathability and airflow, a key priority when choosing a horse rug for Australian summers. This rug features a single chest strap, leg straps, large tail flap, satin lined shoulders and neck to prevent rubbing and PVC shade mesh for air flow.

Showmaster Fly Mask

Protect your horse’s face with a Showmaster Fly Mask. This strong, reinforced fly mask will protect your horse against those pesky insects and is designed to last. Featuring soft fleece edging for extra comfort and rubbing prevention, and a wide velcro fastener for a secure fit. This fly veil comes in either pink, purple or blue fleece edging.

Stay on top of itch

There is no cure for itch, therefore your best defence is to be consistent with your treatment and management of it. Keep on top of it daily! If you can do this, you will ensure less exposure to the irritant, which will see less severe symptoms occurring in your horse.