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Why it’s important to optimally support a horse’s immune system with switch itch

Sweet itch is a very unpleasant condition in horses that causes a lot of itching. But inside, it does much more. Therefore, it is important to keep the resilience of your horse as high as possible, if it is suffering from sweet itch. Read in this blog why and how you can do that!


An allergy/eczema causes inflammatory reactions

The itching is caused by inflammation under the skin. This inflammatory reaction is caused by the saliva of the biting midge (culicoides mosquito) to which the horse is allergic. The horse’s body reacts to it, with small inflammatory reactions throughout the body and at the site of the mosquito bite. These inflammatory reactions lead to itching, which in turn causes the horse to rub and damage its skin, which again triggers inflammatory reactions.

Inflammatory reactions produce waste products in the horse’s body

Waste products are released during inflammation in the body. Horses with sweet itch have many inflammations in their bodies as soon as they are stung, and therefore many waste products. These waste products enter the bloodstream, are stored in the fat tissue, and “clog” the body. Due to these blockages, the right nutrients cannot be absorbed as well as they should, as there is no more space available. Due to this reduced uptake of the right substances, there is an accumulation of waste products in the body, and the horse’s immune system gradually is getting weaker.

Eliminating waste = improving immune system

The better the horse’s immune system, the better it can handle waste products and inflammatory reactions. For horses with sweet itch, this is a very important step in getting it under control and stabilizing the condition.

Liquid nettle tincture is an ideal (mild) remedy for horses with sweet itch. It has several important functions. The liquid nettle tincture cleanses the blood (detoxifies), is a great help for the immune system, and supports the intestinal flora (important for the immune system). Therefore, we recommend giving horses with sweet itch a course of liquid nettle tincture every two months during the summer. Dried nettle is also possible, but it is much less effective than the liquid version.

Optimal immune system helps with the general management of sweet itch

Good resilience is important for all horses, as reduced resilience can lead to diseases appearing more quickly. For horses with sweet itch, optimal resilience is even more important! This allows the horse to be able to “fight” against the itch and inflammation, supplements for eczema are better absorbed, and nutrients can work more effectively.

With these tips, you can support your horse’s immune system:

  • Do not feed packaged hay (silage), always give unpackaged hay
  • Avoid starch (grains)
  • Always feed low sugar
  • Adequate supply of vitamins and minerals
  • Regularly give a course of liquid nettle
  • Avoid stress

Due to laws and regulations, we cannot say which products are useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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