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Is an internal supplement enough to control sweet itch?

Sweet itch is perhaps one of the most difficult ailments in horses. There are also tons of products on the market that claim to be the miracle cure. Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure for sweet itch. Every horse is different and every horse reacts differently to substances, what works for your horse may not work for the neighbor’s horse and vice versa. It can therefore really be a search for a suitable product. But is just feeding a supplement enough to control sweet itch in horses?

Sweet itch is more than a skin problem

Sweet itch in horses is a very complex problem. It is caused by the saliva of the cullicoid mosquito, which gives an allergic reaction. This allergic reaction causes inflammatory reactions under the skin and that causes the itching. But those inflammatory reactions also occur elsewhere in the body. Inflammatory reactions give extra waste products in the body, which puts the resistance under pressure. A reduced resistance can cause complaints elsewhere in the body. The itching and wounds on the skin are therefore a symptom/part of sweet itch, but there is much more going on in the body. This means that you will not completely help the horse if you only tackle the superficial itching.

Internal support summer eczema important

Sweet itch causes an internal imbalance that puts the resistance under pressure, but this can also cause problems in the digestive and respiratory system. It is therefore important to tackle sweet itch from the inside out. The first step is perhaps the most important: looking critically at your horse’s ration. A lot of profit can often be made in this by feeding grain-free and low in sugar. It is also preferable to feed unpackaged hay because packaged pre-dry hay/silage always acidifies the body, which puts the resistance under even more pressure.

In addition, supplements can very well support sweet itch. For example, liquid nettle tincture has an enormous blood purifying effect and has an anti-histamine effect. And cannabinoids from cloves have an anti-inflammatory effect and help to bring the body into balance. A supplement based on the herbs fenugreek, sepiolite, echinacea, astragalus, uncaria, gentiana, thymus, citronallal and citronellol is also recommended. This includes all facets that are important to support an eczema horse, it also has a repellent effect due to the citronellol / citronellal so that mosquitoes stay more at a distance.

But don’t forget external treatment!

Yes, internal treatment is extremely important for sweet itch. But often this is not enough and you will also have to treat it from the outside. Sweet itch requires several approaches and treatments because it is such a difficult problem. Externally you can do the following:

  • Rub with an itching / nurturing ointment / lotion
  • Spray with a spray based on silicon dioxide, this helps wounds to heal faster
  • Putting on a sweet itch/fly rug, this prevents the horse from being stung a lot and/or chafing
  • Put the horse inside during the twilight when most mosquitoes and flies are active

As stated, there is no one panacea that works for all horses. It can really take a while to find the right drug or combination. And don’t forget the feed, there are horses that become itch-free by only an adjustment in the feed.

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