Tree Rubbing - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-12-2019, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: TX
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Question Tree Rubbing

I live in the forest. I took several trees down to allow more room and area to grow more grass for my horses. However, I still have numerous trees on my property. My horses suddenly took to rubbing themselves against them. I saw there were flies on them but they looked like house flies. Still, I got bit by something too and it itched a lot for two days.
Anyways, I got a fly spray and I sprayed them with it and I THINK they are not rubbing anymore but they appear to have rubbed a LOT of hair off of their shoulders. One of my horses had a bump on him that looked like my arm after a mosquito bite (puffed up). I sent a pic to my farrier and he thought it was an insect bite and didnt seem worried. Still, they are looking shabby right now and I want to make sure this is normal.
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PaganRider is offline  
post #2 of 5 Old 04-12-2019, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Massachusetts
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Something in the grass? New plant life Gnats? Ticks? Mosquitoes? They don't look as though they're shedding. A couple of the barn horses are very sensitive to bug bites and Toby likes to scratch on trees when he gets a chance, though I haven't yet seen them scratch hair off. It sounds at least on the surface as if something is irritating them and they're just trying to solve the problem.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-12-2019, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: TX
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I was thinking bugs which is why I got the spray and they immediately disappeared. But the amount of hair they scratched off in just a few days before I got the spray was A LOT! Kind of freaked me out.
Thanks for your response.
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-13-2019, 03:15 PM
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Massachusetts
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When my friend's dog had fleas, he, as she put it "scratched his pants off" (ie all the hair off his butt) in a pretty short period. It does look pretty scary when your animal suddenly loses a bunch of hair! But it's probably bugs, and maybe - since you've removed some trees - some new ones they didn't really have to deal with previously have made a home. Ick.

I know the barn I go to has had a few horses that react just terribly to insect bites and lose hair just from the inflammation, nevermind the scratching, so much the fly spray can hardly keep up. Poor babes.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-13-2019, 08:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
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It's possible for horses to pick up lice, which result in frantic rubbing and those sorts of hairless, scabby patches. But midge bites can do this too, or allergies against the bark they're rubbing on, in some countries, or spider bites, etc etc. I'd be doing ivermectin as my next wormer to cover the possibility of lice. Plus, it kills any bloodsucking external parasites / biting flies / midges who ingest a blood meal while the ivermectin is in the system, har har. Death to itch-inducing critters! Ivermectin is safer than fly spray too, for the horse.

SueC is time travelling.
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