Understanding Sweet Itch in Horses

Sweet itch is a prevalent and frustrating condition for horses and their owners. This allergic reaction, also known as summer eczema or seasonal recurrent dermatitis (SRD), is caused by the bites of Culicoides midges. These tiny insects are most active during warm, humid weather, making sweet itch a common issue in the spring and summer months.


Recognizing Sweet Itch

The signs of sweet itch are relatively easy to spot. Horses suffering from sweet itch will exhibit intense itching and discomfort, particularly along the mane, tail, and belly. This can lead to hair loss, open sores, and thickened skin due to constant rubbing and scratching. If you suspect your horse has sweet itch, it's always a good idea to consult a vet for an accurate diagnosis and to rule out other potential skin conditions. In severe cases, veterinary guidance is essential for managing the symptoms effectively.

Managing Sweet Itch

Managing sweet itch involves a combination of preventative measures and treatments to soothe the skin and prevent further irritation. Here are some strategies to help manage this condition:

  1. Prevent Bites:

    • Use insect repellents and protective rugs to minimize exposure to biting midges.
    • Stable your horse during peak midge activity times, typically dawn and dusk.
    • Install fans in stables to create an environment less favorable for midges.
  2. Soothe and Heal the Skin:

    • Anicura Horse Spray: Our Horse Spray is specifically formulated to tackle the symptoms of sweet itch. It not only relieves itching and soothes irritated skin but also has anti-insect properties to protect your horse from further bites.
    • Anicura Horse Shampoo: This gentle shampoo soothes and cleanses the skin, providing relief from itching while maintaining the skin's natural moisture balance.
    • Anicura Horse Gel: For areas where the skin has been broken due to scratching or rubbing, our Horse Gel can help accelerate healing and provide an additional layer of soothing protection.

Sweet itch can be a challenging condition to manage, but with the right approach, you can significantly improve your horse's comfort and quality of life. Remember, early intervention is key, and consulting a vet can provide additional support and ensure that your horse receives the best care possible.