How can I get rid of my horse's lice?? - Page 3

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How can I get rid of my horse's lice??

This is a discussion on How can I get rid of my horse's lice?? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
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    12-30-2008, 10:22 PM
Originally Posted by G and K's Mom    
Not true:

Feeding and Care of the Horse - Google Book Search

A little hard to read...... sorry, see yellow highlights
OK -- I didn't read the whole thing, but the chart is showing the Avermectins to be effective against lice, not pyrantel -- did I miss it?
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    12-30-2008, 10:35 PM
Originally Posted by G and K's Mom    
Not true:

Feeding and Care of the Horse - Google Book Search

A little hard to read...... sorry, see yellow highlights
Nothing on that page says that pyrantels are effective against lice. It says on the chart that the drugs denoted by the d are effective against lice and the only group marked with that d is the avermectinswhich are ivermectin and moxidectin.

Sorry, but I do remember my pharmacology and parasitology lessons. Pyrantel is not effective against lice.

"Pediculosis (Lice)
Lice are wingless, flattened insects that are ectoparasites of mammals worldwide. They constitute two orders: Anoplura (sucking lice, blood feeders) and Mallophaga (biting lice).
Two species of lice affect horses: Damalina equi a biting louse that feeds on skin and hair, and Haematopinus asini a sucking louse that pierces skin and sucks blood and tissue fluids. Infestations are common.
The life cycle is completed on the host and transmission is mainly by direct contact. Infections are more severe in the late winter and early spring.
The skin irritation results in itching manifested by rubbing, biting and kicking. The coat may be roughened with loss of hair and there may be secondary bacterial infection. In heavy infestations individuals become anemic and lose weight and condition.

This is based upon finding eggs or lice. The latter are 2 - 4 mm in size and thus can be readily seen when hair is parted.
Biting lice are more active than sucking lice.

Dipping or spraying with insecticide solutions; two treatments two weeks apart are recommended. Ivermectin is effective against sucking lice but not biting lice.
Frequent and thorough grooming is helpful in controlling pediculosis."

--A Concise Guide to the Microbial and Parasitic Diseases of Horses, Carter G.R., Payne P.A. And Davis E. (Eds.).
    06-15-2011, 06:09 PM
I have heard that warm or hot vinegar kills the eggs. Also Endure fly spray helps kill live lice. You do have to clean everything that has come into contact with the horse and I read online the other day that you will need to clean their pen as well as the lice can be on anything the horse has rubbed or laid on.

I'm getting ready to write an article about horse lice and have been researching it online. I am happy to have found your forums because now I have others I can talk to about this problem. Two paints we purchased came up with lice and one rescue. They have been quarantined from the other horses until this is all under control.
    06-15-2011, 11:18 PM
Super Moderator
I am sorry to say you are barking up the wrong tree with your treatment of lice.

Horses get lice (along with rain rot, goopy runny eyes, flakey dry skin, poor hair coats and many more things) from being deficient in Vitamin A.

They are NOT contagious and you cannot give rain rot or lice to a horse with healthy skin and a healthy immune system that has sufficient Vitamin A either stored or in their diet.

This is why you see lice and rain rot in thin, poorly cared for horses and in the late summer and spring on horses that are fat, but are not receiving any Vitamin A supplementation of any kind. Vitamin A is a 'fat soluble' vitamin (along with D and E) that is stored in the liver. If horses have access to good green grass they are never deficient in it. They store quite a bit if it in the fall, but if they are not supplemented, they run out of stored Vitamin A sometime in the winter. That is why we see rain rot and lice at that time in unsupplemented horses. You can see it any time of year in thin, poorly fed and cared for horses like the rescue you talk about.

You do not need to even treat rain rot or lice if you don't want to. Just get the horse on plenty of Vitamin A and it all goes away very quickly -- much more quickly than the horse that is treated with topicals and not supplemented with Vitamin A or good grass. [If you get the horse on good green grass, it will go away even more quickly.]

To treat them with Vitamin A, you can give them ORALLY the Vitamin A injectable available at feed store and vet supply stores and catalogs. It is labeled for cattle, but just squirt 5 CCs in the horse's mouth (like a dewormer) and they absorb most of it. You can repeat every week. Then, you can start the horse on a good Vitamin Supplement that has a high level of Vitamin A in it.

If you supplement Vitamin A in the winter, especially, you will never see another case of rain rot or lice, no matter how bad the weather gets.

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