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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I realized yesterday that we're getting to the time of the year where Lacey likes to scratch the living daylights out of her patootie, which I really don't appreciate. It obviously hurts her, the flies go crazy for it, and the kids at camp are like "What's wrong with your horse?? :shock:" and it's kinda sad.

All summer long she rubs her tail pretty badly and sometimes (at least once a month) she rubs her butt enough that she causes herself to bleed. Sometimes she does this in the spring too so I'm kinda trying to get ahead of it.

I clean her udders regularly, at least once a week in the summer, and she could be dewormed more which I am going to try to do more often...
I do notice this issue more if I don't give her a weekly bath. It seems like she gets itchier and itchier as she gets dirtier...
She is very sensitive to bug bites, she's always getting covered in welts from bugs.

I'm basically just wondering if anyone else has successfully dealt with this and could give me tips...

For the record, I'm going to ask the vet about this when she comes out to do spring shots, I just would like to get a headstart if possible. :)

I couldn't find a good picture of her butt after she's scratched it badly but here's a side picture of it at about 1 week post-scratching...
From what I can tell, she basically just sits on the fence and rubs as hard as she can.

 

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Deworm her for pinworms, which lay their eggs under the horses tail. A wormer such as ivermectin or Pyrantal Pamoate usually does the trick.
 

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More than likely it is because she is sensitive to the flies or bug bites.

Although pinworms are a cause for butt itch and the itching, I believe would be up closer to the tailhead(could be wrong), it is usually more likely to be an allergic reaction to something. Which obviously is from bug bites since she welts up.

So keeping her covered in bug/fly spray and if she is allergic to the spray you can make your own out of Dawn dishsoap/Vinegar/water. I had a horse that was this way and this was the only thing I could put on him. However I worked for some people recently that had a horse allergic to fly spray and used a solution of Avons Skin So Soft and water.
 

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My horse was rubbing his tail out when I first got him. I used a product called MTG. It worked really well. It's very oily so maybe put it on with gloves.

I've never tried it but I've been told that tea tree oil will also stop skin itching which leads to the tail rubbing.

And of course try fly spray and have you're horse on a regular deworming program.
 

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You could also try spraying her tail dock with Listerine. The regular amber colored one. It will kill any fungus which may be growing on it and causing it to itch. It looks like everyone else has covered all of the other bases.

If she is allergic to flies, you may want to get her a fly sheet, and the fly leg wraps, and keep her sprayed with fly spray, or make your own if she allergic to that as well.
 

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My mare use to do this everytime she went into heat or when her udders needed a good cleaning. We also had a mare at our barn who did this and she has pinworms. Hope you find out what the problem is soon.
 

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Since she is very sensitive to bug bites, you could get a fly sheet for fly season, and maybe it would stop her from itching her booty.
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The horse my daughter has been leasing is a butt rubber! We tried Listerine, MTG, etc, and it all dried him out worse. We wormed him for pinworms, cleaned his sheath, everything you could imagine or that has ever been suggested. Nothing worked. We used (and still do) Eqyys Microtek shampoo and spray, and manage it okay that way. We did figure out that he was really itchy. He won't lay down in most stalls, and therefore won't roll. We had him turned out most of the winter and he rolled in the mud, got all his itches out, and he's quit rubbing. We also found a stall at our barn that he will lay down in and is able to roll when he can't get out. We figured out that his butt didn't really itch, it was just like when you get an itch in the middle of your back and you can't scratch it, how everything starts to itch...he could scratch his butt, but nothing else, so that's how he got his itches out.

I will caution you on MTG: my cousin used it on her horse and it scalded him, he literally went bald on his head and neck. We only tried it once on Ro, and he also ended up scalded.
 

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This sounds like sweet itch to me!!

If its so bad she's making herself bleed, I would recommend a sweetitch rug in all honesty.

If not, then using a tea tree shampoo/oil on her before any open wounds appear and a human moisturiser cream with aloe vera- I don't know if you guys get it or if the ingredients are different but when I had my old itcher we used Avon Skin so Soft in the pink bottle- worked wonders!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thank you guys for all the suggestions!

I've tried a flysheet on her before and the neck hole kept getting caught behind her withers and pulling hard in the front. It was a 72" and she needs a 69 or 70 so that could have been the issue.
I wouldn't be surprised if she was scratching her butt in replacement of another spot, actually. Now that you mention it, every summer she does get a circular crusty fly-ridden spot in the very center of her belly that's EXTREMELY itchy to her (she will literally fall over if I scratch it, haha!) so maybe a flysheet with a belly band would help with that.
She's not so much scratching her tailhead as she is scratching her butt and her tailhead is sometimes side effect of that butt scratching.

I have used Avon Skin So Soft on her last summer (in a mix with other stuff including vinegar etc) but it seemed to wear off in about 20 minutes. When the flies are back I'll give it a try full strength, maybe that'll be the ticket. Then she can be an old lady horse that smells like an old lady! :lol:
There have been fly sprays that seemed to work really well at keeping the flies off long term but, in Lacey's world, long term is like an hour, I worry about all those pesticides and stuff in those heavy duty sprays, and they're SO expensive to be spraying all over her body every hours or so... It's a quandry.

I've also had better luck keeping the flies off when I was feeding her 1/4cup apple cider vinegar everyday so I plan to do that again this summer.

I'm not super keen on MTG so I probably won't try it unless I have no other choice, thanks though!

I feel bad about putting her in a flysheet all the time (btw, she LOVES rolling, whoever mentioned that :) ) in the summer, especially given that she's blanketed all winter, but if that's what helps her, I'm all for it. Once she realizes it's helping, if it does, she'll probably love it too (she ADORES her flymask for that same reason).

Does anybody have good flysheet, with belly thing, recommendations?
Also, Duffy, is a sweet itch rug the same thing as a flysheet? I assume so... :)

Tea tree oil shampoo is a great idea! I will for sure look into that.
 

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I agree with Duffy, sounds like sweet itch to me. There is a lotion called "summer freedom" that a friend of mine would use, she swears by it. Some would also recommend feeding garlic. And as Duffy said, a sweet itch rug - they can be pricey but it's better than having a horse with no tail.

My friend's mare suffers horribly once the midges comes out in the evening, she can't ride past about 4pm because thats when the poor mare gets eatten by the midges.
 

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Ive never seen a horse rub THAT hard O___O
I agree with all the above to keep her from rubbing anymore.
To keep the bugs away, use flyspray, and definently a sheet of some sort.
Goodluck:)
 

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Is the rub where the dirt is?

If so, and if you were in the UK I'd say lice.

But from your description, I'd say sweet itch too. A good sweet itch rug is 'better' than a regular fly rug. It should cover the belly, contain fly-repellant materials, keep the horse cool. Try doing a google search on Boett rugs.

If your vet confirms sweet itch, it will be well worth investing in two rugs. You can clean one when the other is on, and if necessary do the appropriate repairs too.

I hope you find your solution.
 

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Agree with Shropshire and Maple... this calls for more than just a normal fly rug.

Sweet itch rugs are different, and it actually looks like your horse is in a huge coat. I'm not a fan of keeping horses rugged up, but think that there are always exceptions to the case, and Lacey is one of them.. last thing you need is it to get infected.
 

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Ive never seen a horse rub THAT hard O___O
I'm guessing you don't have such a sweet itch problem there as we do in the UK? It's really quite common here (sadly). It's an allergic reaction to a bite from a particular type of midge (sorry, can't remember the latin name of said midge right now) that is more common in land near water, but can happen everywhere.

A horse with bad sweet itch will rub all of it's mane, and the hair on the base of tail off, and will keep rubbing itself until it is bleeding raw in the rubbed areas. It's really distressing.

The only tried and tested solution here is to rug the horse in a good sweet itch rug, and some people will bring horsey in from dawn to dusk when there are most midges about. People also spray Deet onto the rugs (now technically banned for animal use I believe). An area that has been itched raw can be treated with Sudocrem which is bog-standard-available-at-all-good-pharmacists Nappy Cream used to treat nappy rash in babies. (sorry, I don't know what you call nappy rash). This soothes the itch, and stops the midges getting there again albeit temporarily.

To the OP, I hope your horse hasn't got Sweet Itch, I hope it's a lesser irritant thing.
 
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