How do I prepare my horse for the sweet itch season?
The Natural Way - specialized in itching and skin complaints and the natural treatment of horses with sweet itch, mud fever and CPL.
Winter is the ideal period to look ahead to what your horse needs in the spring. Do you have a horse with sweet itch? Then prepare for the itchy season, because unfortunately it is closer than you think!
But how do you do that... How do you not give sweet itch a chance this year?
Because we all want to help our horse without itching and without chafed mane and tail, head, belly or buttocks all year round, don't we?
I would be happy to guide you on the way to the ideal start of spring, so that sweet itch and other itchy conditions don't stand a chance, and that in a 100% natural way.
Horse with sweet itch © The Natural Way
- How do I recognize whether my horse really has sweet itch?
- Preventive steps against sweet itch
- Zomereczeem lotion - The Natural Way
- Eczema blanket
- Healthy food for itch-sensitive horses
- A horse with sweet itch on the grass, yes/no?
- Herbs, a detox or not at all?
- Support with alternative treatments
- Final words
How do I recognize whether my horse really has sweet itch?
In previous articles I have already gone into more detail about what exactly sweet itch is, what the cause is, what the triggers are that maintain itching, which diet is suitable for an itch-sensitive horse, etc. You can read these articles here .
Just briefly summarized:
The Culicoides robertii mosquitoes, also known as midges, cause sweet itch. When the temperature rises to 10°C, these insects become active, and your horse is therefore at risk of being bitten and having an allergic reaction. It is therefore important to take preventive steps before the mosquitoes become active, so that your horse is protected and the associated itching and chafing can be prevented.
However, there are other conditions that cause itching and are confused with sweet itch (read this article) and exclude causes and triggers to arrive at a targeted treatment.
Preventive steps against sweet itch
Start treating with Zomereczeem lotion - The Natural Way before it reaches 10°C. This is our 100% natural and sustainable product based on sweet almond oil and essential oils.
It is recommended to treat 1-2 times a week, or depending on the needs of your horse. When the temperature rises further, treat several times a week to daily. How often you need to treat varies per horse, so test individually to see what your horse needs.
Unfortunately, treatment is often only started when the horse is already chafing and therefore itchy. In that case, I always recommend treating with Zomereczeem lotion once a day and seeing if you can reduce it after 1 to 2 weeks.
This is the case with most horses.
For those who apply an eczema blanket , this is also the right time to start. So don't wait until your horse is already itching and chafing, but take preventive steps.
Zomereczeem lotion - The Natural Way
Healthy food for itch-sensitive horses
Nutrition is one of the biggest causes and/or triggers of itching in horses. Fortunately, adjusting the feeding policy is relatively easy, as long as you know where to start.
It is therefore quite possible that your horse does not really have 'sweet itch' (definition: allergic reaction to Culicoides robertii mosquito), but that the itching is triggered by incorrect nutrition and/or excess weight (inflammatory reactions, allergies,...).
We wrote an E-book OERVOER, specifically for itch-sensitive horses. In these 66 pages I will tell you everything about (un)healthy food, herbs, detox and waste products, intestinal flora and organ function, re- and probiotics and more. We no longer provide extensive nutritional advice, so you definitely want to read this E-book.
Is a horse with sweet itch safe on the grass?
(Spring) grass is very rich and can therefore cause problems for horses that are sensitive to sweet itch. It is important that you first increase the duration of grazing step by step, instead of immediately leaving your horse on the grass all day. This adjustment process can take the body several weeks to months.
Strip grazing is recommended. This way you can easily manage how much grass your horse eats.
If it turns out that your horse reacts too sensitively to grass, you can reduce the number of hours of grazing or completely eliminate it. A paddock is an ideal alternative or addition here. Exercise is extremely important, so make sure it is encouraged.
Horse with sweet itch © Laura Cleirens
Herbs, a detox or not at all?
Winter is the ideal period to check the health of your horse, and then a detox is very popular. But how healthy is this for your horse?
A detox or cleansing treatment in the spring (February/March) can help your horse, among other things, with the removal of waste products. This detox can consist of fresh or dried herbs, a mix or compound liquid products. These variants are all useful because you can easily stick to the recommended daily amount.
A detox treatment is not recommended for every horse, because it has a strong cleansing effect on your horse's body, requires a lot of energy and can cause even more complaints.
Not every horse has good resistance, intestinal health, general health in the spring and so a detox can overload the liver, kidneys, skin, etc. even more. This can cause even more itching, but also sulking, laminitis, etc. These are complaints that give an indication of the health and excretion capabilities of your horse. It may be that your horse has too much waste in its body (because it cannot process them) or that the excretion no longer works or is insufficient, but usually a combination of both.
So only give your horse a detox in consultation with a veterinarian or nutritionist and do not experiment yourself.
A better alternative to a detox is to first examine your horse's overall health, nutrition and management, analyze what your horse's needs are and then take targeted action. Because a healthy horse regulates this natural 'detox' process all by itself.
Itching is always a symptom of something bigger, which develops over the years, can accumulate and only comes out when it really becomes too much for the body. So you really want to treat the cause and not get stuck on treating the symptoms.
Support with alternative treatments
You can provide additional support to your horse's body to enter spring in a healthy manner using alternative treatments, such as manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) , acupressure, acupuncture, homeopathy,...
These treatments support the body in the process of removing waste, stimulating the lymphatic system, blood circulation and more.
- Zomereczeem lotion - The Natural Way, start in time before your horse chafes
- If you apply an eczema blanket, start in time before your horse chafes
- Analyze your horse's nutrition and adjust where necessary
- Herbs and/or detox, but only when necessary and on the advice of an expert
- Support with alternative treatments such as massage and MLD
Discover our 100 % natural Zomereczeem lotion, Mok olie, CPL olie, Natuur Shampoo and OERVOER (E-book) about healthy nutrition for itch-sensitive horses HERE.
© Laura Cleirens - 2021.01.28
Last updated: 2024.01.29