Scratches or Mites? - Page 2

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Scratches or Mites?

This is a discussion on Scratches or Mites? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Hairy cob should i bed down on shavings or straw
  • Should i use straw or shavings for a hairy cob bedding

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    05-14-2013, 02:11 PM
In the UK we call scratches Mud Fever, and because it's so darn muddy there we are all reluctant experts at diagnosing and treating it. It sounds like the problem is so bad now that I can understand that you are not sure which it is, but on the basis that it has been going on for years, and the he SCRATCHES himself, I think that it is Mites.

It sounds like it is so bad that the vet will have to come in I'm afraid.

A friend in the UK had Mites as an ongoing problem with her horse. This was her regime:

- he was bedded at night in straw, but when she first got him she put him on shavings to reduce the 'itchy creature' population. Whatever bedding she used, it got a throrough shake-up each day to prevent populations forming.

- she always kept his legs clipped short and smooth

- she was scrupulous about keeping his legs clean, and would bathe in gentle shampoos, never anything that could irritate already irritated skin.

So, he did have an ongoing problem with mites that were attracted to his big hairy feet, but she kept it at bay.

My other friend at the same yard had a gypsy cob with big hairy feet that she couldn't clip because he was a show champion and needed to be kept natural. He would sometimes get an attack of the itchy mites, so she got the vet in for an injection to supposedly get rid of them, and she kept him on rubber matting with shavings.
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    05-14-2013, 02:48 PM
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Like Rosie I also know people in the UK with 'hairy cobs' that have resorted to injections (Dectomax) to kill the mites - with total success but you have to be scrupulously clean about the bedding and the stable and spray regularly to kill off any that are living off the horse
As you're not showing then I'd clip all the feather of his legs and dab some Frontline on each heel, you'll probably have to repeat every 10 days to start with but once you begin to reduce the numbers of egg layers you can do it less frequently until you're totally rid of them.
I use Frontline in the same way as per my vets suggestion for tick control with no bad effects but always a good idea to try one small patch first as all animals can react differently.
    05-14-2013, 08:36 PM
So it's sounding like it really must be mites. He's had it for years and years despite the season. His stall was always terrible, not nearly enough bedding and never cleaned.

Now I keep his stall very clean, but he spends most days outside in a pasture.
I don't think it's anything in his new diet, as his previous diet was just trotter with small amounts of hay on occasion (which is why he was so skinny when I got him) no pasture at all.

I suppose I'll call the vet this week and get a skin scraping and meds - and I've gotta find someone with clippers I can borrow from. :( going to miss his feathers, but hopefully they'll grow back healthy and clean.

Thanks for helping me narrow it down.
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