Itchiness is often due to allergy or at least sensitivity and the diet is the main culprit, but not always the only one. Other causes include insects and midges, which may be particularly attracted by raised blood sugar levels. Reducing soluble carbohydrates is beneficial as is feeding linseed. Contact with irritants should also be considered – bedding may be irritating the skin, or rugs, numnahs etc. may have been washed using detergents, especially with enzymes, or fabric conditioner.
Managing the itchy horse
- Remove any allergens from your horse – including in diet, bedding or washing powders.
- Use a fly rug or specialist sweet itch rug to cover your horse’s skin and protect against flies and midges.
- Use an insect repellant. These may need to be applied 2 or 3 times a day.
- Stable your horse at dawn and dusk when midges are at their peak. Using insect proof mesh on the doors and windows may also help.
- Soothing shampoos and lotions can be used effectively. Ingedients such as aloe vera and witch hazel are known to have palliative effects.
- Ensure that your horse’s rugs, tack, brushes and equipment are all cleaned regularly.
- Feed Garlic Granules during the summer months to help keep keep flies and midges away.
Add Instant Linseed to your horse’s feed to soothe skin – it is a natural anti-inflammatory.
Speak to your vet if you are concerned about your horse’s itching.
Please contact our Feed Line on 01728 604 008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for free individual feeding advice for your horse.
Our Feed Line is available Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm.