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Failbhe 08-09-2012 11:05 AM

Oversensitive to flies?
Where I live, there can be a lot of flies and mosquitoes, but thankfully we don't get a lot of horseflies. My previous horses have been mildly irritated, but fly spray seemed to fix the problem and it wasn't even that big a problem in the first place.

My new girl goes absolutely crazy from the flies. I spray her at least once a day, and that gives her some relief but she still seems somewhat irritated. I can see small bumps on her ears and neck where she's been bitten. The flies aren't worse than usual, because my two minis are reacting the same as always - just very mild irritation, almost more annoyed at the buzzing than the actual bites.

I had thought perhaps it was because she had been kept in a stable during the spring (I sent her to a trainer immediately after buying her as she was very green) and every time I visited her there I was surprised at the total lack of flies in her stall. So I had thought that she just wasn't used to them at all and it would get better, but it hasn't changed.

Anyway, I can deal with spraying her twice a day every summer for the rest of her life if that's what it takes, my question is this - I had hoped to trailer her up to my parents' place to go trail riding with them next summer. They live close to a lake and the flies are MUCH worse up there, including huge, nasty horseflies. Their horses seem to deal ok with the flies, especially if they are sprayed, but if Éowyn is already this bothered by the flies here, is that just a bad idea? There are some absolutely beautiful trails up there and I would really love to go, but not if it's going to be hell on my horse!

poppy1356 08-09-2012 11:17 AM

Fly sheets and more fly sheets. They make ones you can put on when riding. My best friends horse is allergic to anything that bites her. She has tried everything, unfortunately she is not nice to blankets and has shreaded all her fly sheets so she just has hives most of the summer. You can try Histall or Antihist to see if it helps. You can join my club with the high maintainence horses :)

deserthorsewoman 08-09-2012 11:33 AM

I also found one like that.....she has these little bumps all over her face, neck, chest and girth area and bites herself bloody. Her buddy, a grey, NOTHING!
I spray them daily, use the spot-on repellent, which helps, but with her not 100%. Seems like she hears them buzzing and goes nutts already.
I started with Omega horseshine about a month ago and that seems to help quite a bit. Her coat is a lot betterand the moth eaten look is gone.....
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PaintHorseMares 08-09-2012 11:37 AM

Flies are certainly attracked to certain horses more than others. Our 2 sorrel's mares are always getting welts from bites and the older one will literally run into their shelter to get in the shade when out in the pasture and they start biting. Sadly, not much helps for very long.
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Failbhe 08-09-2012 11:39 AM

I give her some flax in her grain every day, and her coat seems to be ok (shiny, doesn't look moth-eaten) and at least she doesn't bite herself! Your poor girl! :-(

I could try fly sheets, but where we'd be riding (at my parents) would be through some pretty thick brush so I'm not sure how that would work up there. Might help her here at home, though.

Yay, high-maintenance horse club... :-P

~*~anebel~*~ 08-09-2012 11:42 AM

As far as for reducing discomfort from the bites - talk to your vet. My horse was getting covered in welts from the bugs and my vet gave me a round of Dex to put in his feed and the welts are gone and not coming back.
As there have said, fly sheets are also a good investment, Kensington seems to be the best brand for destructive or low pecking order horses. My horse is decent on his blankets and a cheapo no name one has held up with minor tears for a few years.

Good luck!
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poppy1356 08-09-2012 11:57 AM

Hmm for the thick brush try covering her in Avon skin so soft. You mix it with something else too I forget though. But it is supposed to work great. Or if we go to some areas we know will have bad bugs we put human bug spray on them. Have to spray from a bit of a distance though and not very much just around the areas that get it the most, legs, and belly really.

I would also talk to the vet. Some medication is by prescription only. My bf is building me a locking grain department. I have racked up hundreds of dollars in supplements and medications in a mere 6 months.

Failbhe 08-09-2012 12:02 PM

Yeah I'll definitely ask the vet... here, she does ok with being sprayed, but if I'm going to take her up there then I'll see if there is a supplement or something that would give her some extra relief. If regular flies bother her this much, I'd hate to see what a big fat horsefly would do to her.

Hoofprints in the Sand 08-09-2012 12:08 PM

My mare is also very sensitive and we had an allergy panel done...she is apparently allergic to the cullicoides fly (no-see-ums)! It was recommended by the allergy company and my vet to put her on injections for desensitization of the allergens...I did that for a year and it seemed to help, but then after that it came back. That's when I called them and found out that normally you have to keep them on that regimen for 3-5 years for it to fully work. Whoops :shock:

deserthorsewoman 08-09-2012 12:14 PM

Well, I read somewhere that zebra stripes don't attract flies....maybe we should paint our horses in black and white? :-)

But coat color HAS something to do with it. Grays seem to have the least flies on them. But I found it's also a thing of personality. Some horses are more laid back, stoic, others get all worked up by the buzzing only
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