summer sore

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summer sore

This is a discussion on summer sore within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How to treat summer sores on horses
  • Summer sore horses

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    03-04-2011, 01:10 PM
Exclamation summer sore

My old horse had develop a summer sore last year with a lot of work we got under control
With the vets help usein lotion and portions now the same area has reopen after 4 months is this normal. Will the horse have this every year?
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    03-04-2011, 10:11 PM
Summer sores are nothing more than stomach worms. Treatment is very straight forward. Double dose with Ivermectin and depending upon where the sore is you can even take a tube of Ivermectin and smear it over the sore once or twice a day until the tube is gone (in addition to the oral deworming).
    03-05-2011, 11:31 AM
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Actually, summer sores are caused by a parasite commonly known as the 'neck threadworm'. Their official name is Onchocerca Cervicalis. They are spread by another parasite called a midge.

I would contact a Vet that is an equine specialist before I just used the Ivomec treatment on my own. While it will kill them, (as will medications used for killing Heartworms in dogs), there can be some awful complications. Some of the immature and mature threadworms can migrate to the horse's eyes and to its tendons and ligaments - primarily in its front legs. When you kill these parasites, the horse can have a terrible reaction to the dead ones. If they have invaded the horse's eyes and have not been located there first, they can cause a terrible case of 'Uvetitis' and can even cause permanent blindness. If they have invaded the ligaments or tendon sheaths in the horse's legs, they can cause lameness and huge swellings that require surgery to remove the dead worms.

They can be killed locally if small amounts of Ivomec Pour-on are applied with a Q-tip. The thought being that this small amount will not kill others in distant parts of the horse like a systemic dewormer will. I have seen this work, but then no one know if there were any parasites present in the horse's eyes when this method was used.

I know Vets that will not treat neck threadworms without a thorough eye exam and may even require a biopsy of the Conjunctiva of the eye of the horse first. This kind of caution comes from having blinded a horse or two and having to pay for the damages.

They can be really simple or they can be very serious, so I would not treat them without taking precautions.

Many of the older Vets and Country Vets still think this dermatitis on a horse's neck and shoulders is an allergy to fly bites, so question a Vet to see what their protocol is for treating Onchocirca and that they even know what they are. Sadly, many do not.

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