Vitamin A keeps lice away. Why? - The Horse Forum
 11Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 32 Old 03-22-2014, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
Teen Forum Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
Posts: 7,157
• Horses: 2
Vitamin A keeps lice away. Why?

I don't need it proven to me that giving a horse Vitamin A keeps it's coat healthier and can be used to treat lice, because I've seen it work myself. I'm a believer! A few members here say that a healthy horse with sufficient vitamin A will not/cannot get lice, and that seems to be true to me too. However I'm curious as to what the correlation is there. I don't understand WHY it is that Vitamin A protects horses from lice. My logic, if I were a lice, would be that I'd want to feed off of a healthy animal with nice skin, not one with crap skin and nasty hair....but obviously that isn't how it works. Does anyone know WHY Vitamin A some how creates a barrier from lice for horses? Are large amounts of it toxic to lice or something?

Just me being curious xD

I also wonder why horses who are in poor health (not WEIGHT wise, but if they're wormy, missing something in their diet, etc....just looking over all unthrifty) seem to grow the big, thick, coarse winter coats and seem to keep them longer than healthy animals. I realize it is how they are protecting themselves from the elements since they aren't healthy, but its strange that their bodies put extra effort into creating dense coats like that when not even a healthy horse's will do that.
loosie likes this.

Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.
Endiku is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 32 Old 03-24-2014, 04:19 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 12,664
• Horses: 0
Hi,

IME it is the unhealthy animals, with inadequate nutrition who are at risk of lice/mites. I don't recall ever coming across a healthy beast with lice, so I guess they wouldn't agree with your surmise about them! I didn't know until recently, that vitamin A was specifically associated, I've just found that animals with well balanced nutrition don't appear susceptible. Or to infections, or sunburn... etc.

Re hair, in the case of general ill health, yeah, maybe coat trying to compensate for otherwise lack of 'insulation'. But conditions such as IR & PPID are common, & commonly a cause of excessive hair coat. With cushings, keratin(& apparently often teeth too) is produced in excessive supply, so it's not just hair, but skin, hooves & chestnuts which are commonly problematic in this disease.
loosie is offline  
post #3 of 32 Old 03-24-2014, 06:44 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 795
• Horses: 0
Same thoughts as loosie, havenīt thought about A=-lice, just that a healthy horse like anything else has less problems.

will try and connect this, (it doesnīt allways work):
http://www.animalscience.ag.utk.edu/...ses4-23-03.pdf

Some people give supplements, some corn oil, I give a corn/oats mix, seems to work for them, thick shiny winter coats, need Ray-Bans to look at them when the sun comes out.
amigoboy is offline  
post #4 of 32 Old 03-24-2014, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
Teen Forum Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
Posts: 7,157
• Horses: 2
Right. So I guess I need to rephrase my question from why does good Vitamin A keep away lice, to why is it the healthy animals that don't get it? Maybe I"m just being strange, asking such a question, and I should just be glad, but why can lice not thrive on a healthy animal? Again I'm drawing a blank here because you'd think they would want a healthy host. Is this in all hosts, regardless of special, such as cattle, dogs, birds, humans? I know we always think of lice as dirty, but can they only be spread to unhealthy HUMANS? hmmm...

Thats interesting about the cushings Loosie. Thanks. I didn't realize that keratin was one of the things being affected, and that makes a lot more sense. I have no experience with cushoids so I've never really researched it.

Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.
Endiku is offline  
post #5 of 32 Old 03-24-2014, 11:15 AM
Started
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
Posts: 2,475
• Horses: 1
I have not seen Vitamin A or anything really prevent lice, but then, I've only seen a few critters with lice and all of them were poorly cared for. They had poor diets, poor health, and also lice. So I always attributed it to the idea that a well cared for animal isn't going to have lice, because if it did, it would have been treated (sort of the definition of 'well cared for'), whereas the animals that are in poor condition are also poorly cared for, and not treated for lice if they catch it. So then lice spreads, and those animals are often kept in conditions that promote the spread of other diseases as well (limited feeding/water points, potential overcrowding, going though stock sales, etc).

I know people swear that vitamin A will keep lice away, but I honestly can't conceptualize why that would be all by itself. Ie, if you kept a horse in the exact same conditions, feed, etc, but JUST added vitamin A, I doubt it would cure them.
Sharpie is offline  
post #6 of 32 Old 03-24-2014, 11:32 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 795
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endiku View Post
Right. So I guess I need to rephrase my question from why does good Vitamin A keep away lice, to why is it the healthy animals that don't get it? Maybe I"m just being strange, asking such a question, and I should just be glad, but why can lice not thrive on a healthy animal? Again I'm drawing a blank here because you'd think they would want a healthy host. Is this in all hosts, regardless of special, such as cattle, dogs, birds, humans? I know we always think of lice as dirty, but can they only be spread to unhealthy HUMANS? hmmm...

Thats interesting about the cushings Loosie. Thanks. I didn't realize that keratin was one of the things being affected, and that makes a lot more sense. I have no experience with cushoids so I've never really researched it.
Iīv google and can not find any info that vitamin A prevents lice per say.
Will keep looking.
amigoboy is offline  
post #7 of 32 Old 03-24-2014, 12:06 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 5,286
• Horses: 1
IIRC it's not specifically that vitamin A prevents lice, so much as vitamin A is a crucial component of a healthy immune system that is often missing in horses that get hay (instead of fresh grass) as their primary forage. Horses with a strong, healthy immune response have a high natural resistance to lice. Why that is I'm really not sure.

Lice are species-dependent (i.e. the lice that horses get are not the same that humans get, for example) and the immune system resistance factor is not part of human lice infestations that I'm aware of.
Endiku likes this.
verona1016 is offline  
post #8 of 32 Old 03-24-2014, 05:10 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 12,664
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpie View Post
So I always attributed it to the idea that a well cared for animal isn't going to have lice, because if it did, it would have been treated
Oh I think I looked after my old donkey reasonably(albeit with little good nutritional understanding at the time), but due to chronic issues(unrecognised by vets...) he was poor & got lice every year in his later life. Treating them with a powdered stuff was easy & none of the horses that lived with him ever got them.
loosie is offline  
post #9 of 32 Old 03-24-2014, 05:27 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 22,509
• Horses: 3
I've often found that horses in poor condition that I've bought have got lice but the lice never seem to return once the horse is back to good health - but I've never added extra Vitamin A to their feed above what's normally in it so I'm not seeing any connection
One thought - lice feed off the horse and one of the first things people often do when they take a horse in poor condition is to worm it and stuff like Ivermectin goes through the bloodstream and so kills anything like lice and ticks that are snacking on the horse.
megs22 likes this.
jaydee is offline  
post #10 of 32 Old 03-24-2014, 05:35 PM
Started
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
Posts: 2,475
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Oh I think I looked after my old donkey reasonably(albeit with little good nutritional understanding at the time), but due to chronic issues(unrecognised by vets...) he was poor & got lice every year in his later life. Treating them with a powdered stuff was easy & none of the horses that lived with him ever got them.
Very interesting Loosie! I wonder where they were coming from anew each year or if he (or another horse) harbored them in low/unnoticed numbers in between the breakouts. Now I am more curious than ever! I agree that horse lice, unlike human or bird lice, seem to disproportionally affect sickly animals.
Sharpie is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lice AnnaT Horse Health 3 12-03-2011 01:54 PM
Lice Lunachick Horse Health 1 03-27-2011 01:43 PM
Lice? What to do? Britt Horse Health 2 03-24-2010 12:32 PM
Lice help!! rach Horse Health 3 03-08-2010 12:33 PM
Is It Lice Or Something Else??? draftlover215 Horse Health 3 05-01-2009 05:34 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome