What kind of plant/bug could have done this?
We have a 40 acre pasture we've been trying to fence in to put our horses in. The pasture hasn't been used for years, but we do go down there to ride in it. Just recently, our horses have been getting these bites/sores with oozing clearish/goldenyellow serum. The vet came out, and took a look and said since every horse that has been down there has it it either has to be a bug or plant of some kind. They all have these bites/sores on their chest, private areas, under bellies, and some random spots. The worst ones have swelled up to the size of my palm. He said to not pick the scabs off, and just keep them clean and eventually they'll go away. So now we're gonna have to bushhog the entire pasture. Which we were probably gonna have to do anyway. Does anyone know what this could have been?
Depending on the lay of your land, it will be best to section it off into two or three sections because there's a lot of bushhogging hours there:-)
1. Yellow/oozing/crusty stuff tick bites and allergic reactions. Some worse than others depending on which horse.
2. Swelled up the size of your palm -- could still be tick bites (my Arab will swell from them to half the size of a golf ball sometimes), but more likely spider bites.
3. Other marks can, and most likely do, include allergic reaction from Midge fly bites (sweet itch) or other forms of "no-see-ums".
If my vet told me what your vet told you, I'd smack his hind-end from my farm clear back to his office. He was pretty blase and that's ok but should've gone into a little more detail than what he did because:
If those bites get infected on their lower bodies, especially up under their legs, they can possibly get cellulitis and that is a vet bill, plus a lot of time cold hosing the horse.
There are a gazillion home remedies and animal friendly (not human shampoos for this kind of stuff) shampoos that can be used to clean the horses up and treat them.
For now, I would wash every horse in a povidine shampoo. Rinse thoroughly. If the scabs will come off without effort, take them off. If the scabs are "fighting" coming off, leave them on because those aren't ready to peel off and will leave an open bleeding sore for the flies to get on.
There are many topicals that will work. Some folks swear by MTG, I hate it for this particular application. I have read on other forums where the sulphur in MTG actually caused a worse allergic reaction that resulted in a vet bill.
My cheap preference is a 50-50 mix of either hemerhoid cream and diaper rash cream, or hemerhoid cream and SWAT.
SWAT and diaper rash cream both have healing properties, repel moisture, and keep the flies off.
After you put the creams on, you can then lightly spray those areas with fly spray. I do not spray the tail dock but I do saturate the swishy part of everyone's tails.
Depending how many horses you have this may take a long time to do every day and they may go out looking like painted War horses but, IMHO, it is the bet approach for now -- especially until you get the pasture bush-hogged.
Fly masks will help too in case you have anyone with runny eyes from the sun because the flies will love to land on that and cause the horse grief.
I have also put three of my four horses on people 1,000 I.U. Vitamin E capsules. The metabolic horse and the Arab get 2, twice daily to boost their immune systems.
The third horse gets one, twice daily. So far, I THINK it's helping but I will have a better answer when late summer arrives with the high heat/humidity that aggravates their sweating that aggravates the bites, and rain rot from those temps.
Be prepared to deal with these issues on a daily basis until fall when the weather cools down. The ticks will die down for awhile but will often "rear up" again towards the end of summer.
I hope this helps you some and good luck:D You sure have my sympathy and empathy:-(
If it was me, I would go out with a digital camera and take photos of suspcious plants I could find - especially ones that look to be nibbled on. Then I would to a online search for toxic plants and see if any of the plants & symptoms match up. Even if you bush hog - those plants will still be growing. I would want to erradicate them.
Plus when one of the wild grasses goes to seed in the fall and gets those sticky pods on it, that sticky stuff causes a "scratches-like" reaction:shock: I want to say Johnson grass but it isn't, it's something else that will wake me up at three in the morning because I can't remember it now:?
Pig weed cannot be erradicated unless it is pulled up by hand and ALL of the root system is pulled out.
As for the ivy family - well if one if lucky, some form of "all kill" might get it, but probably not permanently and the horses would have to be kept out of the pasture if an "all kill" was put down for quite a long time (I think a couple weeks at least because the beef farmers around me wait that long).
2-D-4 is a a weed killer but not an all kill. Horses can be put back in the pasture only a few hours after it's been put down but it doesn't kill anyone in the ivy family.
When 40 acres is involved and if the stuff is in difficult terrain (ours is up on the ridge in a rocky & very sloped area, it can be an expensive exercise in futility to try and get rid of the weeds that cause these reactions.
The easier choice would be to fence the horses completely out of that area if that is even possible:-(
I'll be sure to tell everyone who owns a horse that got it what you put.
Yes, 40 acres is a lot! We have already started to bushhog it.
The barn manager thought that it might be a plant called Breyer?
Hmm, I'm not sure if this is it?
N.J. Weed Gallery: Weed
This is a vine type weed with thorns.
I know where pig weed is concerned, while horses won't eat it, all they have to do is brush against it while eating grass next to it and their skin is poisoned.
Your county extension agent could probably help identify what the weeds are in your area, but that won't serve much of a purpose if they happen to be the stuff that you can't get rid of:?
Pig weed would cause skin irriatation? We have a batch in our back field and it has never caused a problem.
The barn manager and I took a ride to the pasture today, and she showed me what she was talking about. I don't have a picture of it, but it's a straight up & down plant that has prickly thorn thingys with little white flowers. The thorns and stalk look kinda redish brown.
No see ums really will chew a horse up and make those crusty scabs along their chest on the inside of their legs on a lot on the inside of the back legs in the sheath area on geldings. I use calamine for the crazy itch they cause.
That all happened when we were in the extreme drought of 2007 and part of the pasture ended up thread-bare.
I called the vet to ask him for some Tri-Hist because I couldn't keep up with all the skin issues, his comment was:
1. "We, in the Tennessee Valley live in Allergy Purgatory, and our area of the county is one of the worst" Lovely:shock:
2. "I (the vet) have been treating skin allergies all summer that much of it was caused by pig weed. All a horse has to do is brush against it."
Had he not made that comment, I would have never realized pig weed can cause skin irritation.
I would imagine the reaction to it (or lack of) is like folks with poison ivy, oak or sumac. Used to be if anyone just mentioned poison ivy in front of me, it was doctor bill. I am not like that anymore - thank goodness.
I know the pig weed has always been in the pasture and the horses never had a reaction before. As I write and think about this, maybe the extreme drought we were in that year had something to do with the toxins becoming more active.
I dunno - smart I am not when it comes to alchemy, chemistry or anything resembling them:-(
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