It Wasn't Sweet Itch, It Was Neck Threadworms - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 25 Old 04-21-2019, 06:31 PM
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Hi @NeverDullRanch ... How did you figure out that it was threadworms? Did a fecal pick it up? Regardless, I am glad you got it resolved!
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post #12 of 25 Old 04-21-2019, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Replying to Captain Evil:

No, a fecal would have been too sensible LOL. My vet diagnosed it as Sweet Itch (also without a fecal or a skin scraping), but in researching THAT diagnosis it just didn't seem to fit the situation. Then I stumbled across some great articles about Neck Threadworms on this site: www.thehorsesback.com

AND I found a photo of the ventral midline of a horse with Neck Threadworms. It had broken out with itchy scabby patches in exactly the same locations as my old gelding had. The symptoms meshed perfectly with what my horse was experiencing/exhibiting. When I began treating him for Neck Threadworms he began getting better within a few days.
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post #13 of 25 Old 04-21-2019, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Replying to SilverMaple: Maybe the generic Zyrtec would help your itchy horse too. Costco has one called Aller-Tec that usually costs $13.99 for 365 tablets. I found it on sale for $10.99 and ordered a bunch. I've got both of my horses on it through the end of fly season (with the vet's approval). One tablet for every 100 lbs. of body weight, twice a day.
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post #14 of 25 Old 04-21-2019, 10:32 PM
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You're not going to find neck threadworms in a fecal. They don't migrate to the intestinal track. They migrate into the muscle of the neck, underbelly, and can even get into the eye and cause blindness.
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post #15 of 25 Old 04-21-2019, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

The articles I referenced say the adults live in the nuchal ligament (neck) and can live 7 to 12 years. Ivermectin doesn't kill them. But it DOES kill the offspring. And you're right about their ability to get into the eye. In Africa, they are a huge cause of blindness in HUMANS. Ivermectin is used on humans there. It makes me nervous to even be working around a horse that is infested with them lest they migrate to ME.
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post #16 of 25 Old 04-21-2019, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverDullRanch View Post
The articles I referenced say the adults live in the nuchal ligament (neck) and can live 7 to 12 years. Ivermectin doesn't kill them. But it DOES kill the offspring. And you're right about their ability to get into the eye. In Africa, they are a huge cause of blindness in HUMANS. Ivermectin is used on humans there. It makes me nervous to even be working around a horse that is infested with them lest they migrate to ME.
I doubt that you have anything to worry about unless you are bitten by midge flies often.

They are miserable little suckers though. I call them teeth with wings. Here in FL they tend to be more on the west coast more than the east.
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post #17 of 25 Old 04-22-2019, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriF View Post
You're not going to find neck threadworms in a fecal. They don't migrate to the intestinal track. They migrate into the muscle of the neck, underbelly, and can even get into the eye and cause blindness.
Good information, but pretty hard to hit the "Like" button. Scary stuff!
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post #18 of 25 Old 04-22-2019, 12:09 PM
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In my horse's case, he was not itching the ventral midline, but rubbing his chest, shoulders, neck, and face raw. I did find a few sources saying it doesn't always show in the midline, but one of the hallmark features is itching on the head and neck.
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post #19 of 25 Old 04-23-2019, 06:24 AM
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In the case of my mare, she itched and would tear up her neck and her ventral midline. She didn't really have any itching on her face. i did not have her tested for neck threadworms (not sure if there is one). After nothing else was working and this was driving both of us crazy, I just gave this treatment a shot and it worked. She actually did get worse with the itching before it got better. It was such a relief for her. I also gave her probiotics for a month as well.

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post #20 of 25 Old 04-23-2019, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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To SilverMaple: Interesting. Petey had this on his midline last year but I recall that he also would rub his eyes on anything handy, once or twice until one eye was swollen as if he had crashed into something. He also rubbed his b*tt and neck and his sheath was badly swollen. But the worst was seeing him lie down and rub his belly and then discovering that he had ripped off the skin, leaving a weepy & bloody surface underneath.

To LoriF: I believe the test for neck threadworms is to take a skin scraping and view it under a microscope. If that's what it is, the larvae will show up under magnification. I also noticed, like you did, that the itching got worse after the Ivermectin; that is normal for 36-48 hours according to what I've read. But it made me CRAZY. I felt so sorry for him!

Hmmmm...I was just Googling for something and came across this on Equiderma's site: https://www.equiderma.com/pages/neck-threadworm-b
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