Opening Times:

Mon-Thu: 8:30am - 6:30pm

Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm

Sat: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Sweet Itch

Sweet Itch is one of the most common skin diseases seen in the horse.

  •     Sweet Itch is caused by hypersensitivity to the bite of tiny Culicoides midges.
  •     The fly is active from March to October but peaks in numbers in May to September.
  •     Horses start showing signs when they are between 1 and 4 years of age and the condition generally worsens with each summer.
  •     Certain breeds are more susceptible including; Icelandic horses, Friesians, Shetland ponies, Shires, and Welsh ponies.
  •     The worst affected sites are usually the tail head, under the mane and underneath the horses’ abdomen.
  •     Affected animals are very itchy, may rub intensely, and become restless. Prolonged rubbing results in crusting, scaling, skin thickening, hair loss and damage to the skin.

A few tips for Sweet Itch management:

  •     Good insect control is ESSENTIAL and should be the main focus of management.
  •     Stable the horse from 4.00pm until 8.00 am.
  •     Use specially developed rugs and hoods to provide protection.

We have a few medications available to help us combat sweet itch including a vaccination. If you would like more information on this condition and its treatment, please call the clinic on 01373 836186 to speak to one of our equine veterinary surgeons.

Category: Equine