Eco-vet or Hood for bug sensitive mare? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-13-2017, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Eco-vet or Hood for bug sensitive mare?

Alright guys. Going for cost effective here.

I have a very bug sensitive mare... not sweet itch bad, but she's pretty bad. She ONLY gets bites and reactions on her neck and chest. It is not thread worms as it's never anywhere near/in the mane.

I thought I found the solution this past spring with Immu-aid. We got into summer and the bites started coming in full force and it became useless, so I did not buy anymore. I think it did help with some of the reaction, but not enough to make it worth it.

I am looking into possibly getting a mane tamer type hood. One that would cover her whole shoulder and most of her chest as well. Fly sheets don't help much and are hot, fly sheet with hood would probably work but is overkill as she doesn't need her whole body covered, and too hot! (keep in mind, we are hitting averages of 110 Fahrenheit). She would be wearing the hood for 23 hours out of the day, every day. So it needs to not be too hot, but hold up to horse shenanigans and life decently. She lives in a 15x30ft corral, so bushes and things like that to snag on are not a concern, but believe me she could find things to tear it on still. She did not tear apart her Kensington fly sheet, but has torn apart those real cheap ones (less than $20). So I wouldn't consider her exceptionally hard on body wear as long as it is made well. Fly masks are a different story, and she is relegated to cheap ones forever lol.

My other option is to order Eco-vet. Heard a lot of good things about it, but am unsure as to whether it will solve my problem for good.

I made a pro-con list.

Eco-vet Pros:
*Not hot to wear.
*No tearing or repairs to be concerned about.
*Should repel a number of bugs and hopefully solve the allergy problem.
Eco-vet Cons:
*Little pricey, and ongoing expense
*May be yet another fly spray that doesn't work, waste of money
*Apparently smells terrible, but second hand info

Hood Pros:
*Provided that horse does not tear it up, not ongoing expense
*will stop bugs from biting and protect mane and skin
Hood Cons:
*If horse tears it up, waste of money
*can be hot, could cause discomfort and sweating
*May need to be repaired or replaced every year

What would you go for? I'm really liking the idea of a hood, but not sure what ones are best. I found a site that custom makes them for the same price as buying them, and offers repairs, so thinking about going with them. What hoods have you found to not be too heavy, but also durable?

My biggest concern is always wasting money, but who doesn't have that concern.

Thanks for your help and opinions!

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-13-2017, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Not sure why the one post appeared in my new thread...

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-13-2017, 11:45 PM
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Can you stall her in front of a fan? My old mare is allergic to mosquitoes and has sweet itch. I spray her with mosquito halt at sunset. She is out all night and put in her stall with a fan first thing in the morning.

My old mare will wedge herself in the garage if you lock her out of the barn. If the garage is shut she walks onto the front porch to escape the bugs. The rest of the horses don't seem as bothered by the bugs as her. Skin so soft helps repel the gnats. Having access to her stall with a fan is the best solution, as she will go in by herself during buggy hours.

I would not dream of putting a fly sheet on her. It's too hot and would probably cause rain rot. If she didn't rip it off.

I'm debating on making a water proof box to put a fan in and hanging it in the tent stall where the horses eat hay. It is very hot here with high humidity. I have to be careful as there are days where the horses will overheat just standing in the shade.

I've gone out at sunset and had to cold hose the horses, as they are burning hot and soaked in sweat.

Someone I knew lost a horse to overheating. The horse had been chased by its herdmates in the 100 degree heat. The horse went into the 98 degree puddle and laid down in the sun. The vet could not save him.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-14-2017, 10:53 AM
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We use Eco Vet and love it. That being said - it is not going to stop all bugs - my horses are in a pen together so a hood is out of the question for our bug sensitive mare so we slather her in Eco Vet and re apply through out the day
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-14-2017, 11:01 AM
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Eco Vet is amazing stuff but it's not going to solve your problems and probably neither is a Sleezy or Robin Hood (Best quality I've found, their lineman tough ones) but not cheap. For my guys who are super sensitive, get big bumps and lumps and very itchy, I use Smart Bug Off and Smart DMG AND spray with Eco Vet. It has all worked very well this summer, they have not worn masks or sheets at all and nobody is lumpy and miserable. No hives on the 2 that get them. On going expense yes, but it works and in summer when I won't make a horse stand around in hot clothes.

Edited to add: Since you're just talking about starting now, you probably either need a stall with a fan or hood for at least 6 weeks because that's about how long it takes to get in the horses bloodstream and start to really work.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-14-2017, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys.

Do you think that a fan would help in a barn set up like this one? (not our barn, but similar set up).
http://www.eq-winecovers.com/sitebui...s/1maremtl.jpg

So here is an update: The day after I posted this thread I noticed that Shan (the mare spoken of) had not been getting as bit up the past few days. Thinking about it, I realized the only thing that had changed was that I had stopped feeding the alfalfa blend pellets for a few days. Then I wondered if somehow, by eating alfalfa (she gets hot on it anyway, so already has a sensitivity to it) it was somehow making her body chemistry more attractive to the bugs? It wouldn't hurt her to stop feeding the pellets for a couple weeks (just used as a carrier for supplements), so I stopped feeding them on the 12th. Going to go at least two weeks without them.

She has not gotten any new bites since. I also noticed an odd thing today, and that is that the flies were enthusiastically bothering the other mare who is not bug sensitive and gets a good sized scoop of alfalfa each day, and there were hardly any on Shan.

I will post more results as I see them. What I thought was odd is that we have been having some very wet weather, and so normally Shan would be a lot worse off than average due to all the extra bugs. Not so in this case, since stopping the alfalfa.

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-14-2017, 11:53 PM
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A barn like that is perfect for setting up a large fan. If there is an empty stall you can get a super fan which will blow through most of the stalls. Or you could hang them from the rafters.
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