Help! Don't know what to go! Horse purchased as Show Quality has severe Sweetitch - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-15-2012, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Help! Don't know what to go! Horse purchased as Show Quality has severe Sweetitch

My friend purchased a show quality horse from National champion bloodlines. I in turn leased the horse from her after she had a baby and have now had him two years. We of course love him a lot and had committed to buying him. Sadly he has fullblown sweetitch and no matter what I do it isn't getting better. I have read that this may be a hereditary and lifelong condition, he is only 3. I am at the end of my rope, I love him so much but since I am boarding I can't give him.the constant several times daily care that he requires. I have had all sorts of suggestions for treatments and it just keeps getting worse. I thought ig was getting better and came home from being gone for 3 days only to find that his shoulders are bald. It is so upsetting that I cried today. I don't want to give him back, I love home, but I just can't provide him with care he needs for the next 30.years.
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-15-2012, 03:13 AM
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I don't know a lot about it. Down here we call it Queensland Itch (I think), and I was under the impression that the best thing to do is just not to have them in wet/coastal regions.

I don't know though. I'd be very, very reluctant to buy a horse that has a life long condition. Even if it is manageable, it will be hard to sell on the horse if you ever need to, and you can't just put it out for a break or anything if it needs constant maintenance.
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-15-2012, 03:26 AM
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I personally don't have any experience with it, and I don't know what you've tried, but I just did what I always do: go to Wikipedia! Sweet itch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Since it's an allergic reaction to a midge fly's bite, would it help to go the insect repellant and screen/rug route as suggested by the Wiki article? Like I said, not sure what you tried, but it says to keep away from any stagnant water if possible, as that's where the midges breed. It also suggests these: The Boett Blanket - sweet itch rugs Just from how you described it as hereditary, I initially thought it was some sort of autoimmune thing, but since it's an allergic reaction, it sounds like it can be addressed with some hope just by preventing the flies from biting as much as possible.
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-15-2012, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PhelanVelvel View Post
I personally don't have any experience with it, and I don't know what you've tried, but I just did what I always do: go to Wikipedia! Sweet itch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Since it's an allergic reaction to a midge fly's bite, would it help to go the insect repellant and screen/rug route as suggested by the Wiki article? Like I said, not sure what you tried, but it says to keep away from any stagnant water if possible, as that's where the midges breed. It also suggests these: The Boett Blanket - sweet itch rugs Just from how you described it as hereditary, I initially thought it was some sort of autoimmune thing, but since it's an allergic reaction, it sounds like it can be addressed with some hope just by preventing the flies from biting as much as possible.
I have tried all sorts of things. Fly sprays are not a deterrent against gnats. There is no.standing water nearby.

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post #5 of 14 Old 08-15-2012, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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At present I am still leasing him and have not paid the owner. I had intended on doing that very soon but the sweetitch became a full scale battle and now I am learning that it may nbe hereditary. I feel.like a heel just thinking of returning him. I have three horses, one in training, one geriatric with soundness issues and now this. I don't have the time, finances or energy to care for yet another unridable needy horse. Am I a bad person for feeling this way?

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post #6 of 14 Old 08-15-2012, 03:56 AM
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If you personally feel that you don't have the money, time, or energy to deal with his condition, then I think you have your answer. :P I don't think it's wrong, it's just how you feel. Don't feel bad...if you don't have the resources to deal with it and it would just make you unhappy, there's no reason to do it. If you don't want another horse with a medical issue, then there's no reason for you to have one. You don't want to buy him just because you feel bad and then end up regretting it. On the other hand, from what I've read, sweet itch can be managed, and people seem to like that Boett blanket--but what matters is how much you are willing to cope with it. You've already tried treating it and feel nothing is working, so you know better than I do how much effort it would be for you to have the horse. Just curious, why does it matter if it's hereditary, for breeding purposes?
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-15-2012, 06:04 AM
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What has your vet said?

There's also quite a few threads on this recently in the health section. Perhaps try searching there.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-15-2012, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by poppy1356 View Post
What has your vet said?

There's also quite a few threads on this recently in the health section. Perhaps try searching there.
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my thoughts as well, I hear the "I have tried everything" on occasion, when I ask about the vet I get a blank stare... um well then you havent tried everything. COuld be as simple a fix as a couple steroid shots.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-15-2012, 09:56 AM
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Ditto:

1. What did the vet say when he/she actually SAW the horse, not a phone conversation.

2. There are multitudes of thread regarding sweet itch in the health section. Some of which I was a heavy participant and provided links to help. I have one horse that has dealt with sweet itch for almost all of the 19 years he's been with me, until I got smart and did the Ivermectin dosing; also discussed in detail on one of the threads in the health section:)

That all being said, if it's that overwhelming given your horse's current living conditions, I would sell him and find a healthy horse:)
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-15-2012, 03:06 PM
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As the owner of a mare with severe allergies, I would send him back. You could try a double dose of ivermectin or a shot of dex but more than likely he'll need more expensive care and meds ro keep it under control and there is a good chance that he will be unable to work and be shown in the summer. A month's worth of meds run me $120 and meed to be given twice a day. She doesn't get worked from June until late October.
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