Sweet Itch

Sweet Itch

What is Sweet Itch?
More and more horses are affected. It starts again every spring. The black fly season begins and horses that are affected by sweet itch then suffer from severe itching. They often rub open, bloody areas on their mane, stomach and tail and are very stressed.

Itching is an allergic reaction of the body to the blackfly's saliva.

It can be agonising for horses and must therefore be treated holistically as quickly as possible. This not only includes treating the affected areas of the skin from the outside. The problem should be approached internally, too. Feeding also plays an extremely important role.

Feed properly.
Too high energy feeding can put strain on the large intestine and impair metabolic processes. One possible consequence is a lack of vitamins and zinc in the skin, which favours the symptoms of sweet itch. The skin is also heavily stressed during the period of coat change. A lot of zinc and B vitamins are consumed and the skin is weakened. Unfortunately, the time of the black flies comes right after the coat change. Then the skin of sensitive horses often has little chance without support.

Such a deficiency adversely affects the structure of the skin - the cells lose elasticity and moisture, and the production of new cells is slowed down. However, if the trace elements and vitamins that are important for healthy skin are fed, the depots can be replenished and the skin strengthened from the inside. Zinc and B-vitamin-rich Stiefel Diatomaceous Earth is fed as a cure to compensate for deficiencies. It also ensures a balanced water balance in the cells and drives the cell metabolism. Pollutants are removed more quickly; the skin is "cleaned". The 100% pure brewer's yeast from Stiefel is also a treasure trove of B vitamins. In addition, the Stiefel black cumin oil or the Stiefel black cumin seeds can have a positive effect on the immune system and skin functions.

Comprehensive protection.
Comprehensive protection also means properly preparing your horse during the main flight time of black flies and keeping him/her as far away as possible from swarming points of the black flies such as the dung heap. Regular felling also helps to reduce the accumulation of black flies.

In addition, one should try to protect the horse's skin from black flies. This can be achieved with the help of special insect protection blankets and the use of effective insect repellants. The RP1 insect repellent has already won several awards and is available as a spray and gel. The RP1 Sensitive Spray without alcohol is particularly suitable for horses with sensitive skin or conditions such as eczema. The RP1 active ingredient Icaridin binds reversibly to the odour receptors of the insects and scares them off so reliably that the black flies do not even settle on the skin.

The use of the combination spray + gel is particularly effective: The RP1 Sensitive Spray supplies the large areas of the body with a wide spray mist. The RP1 gel is mainly used on parts of the body that are at risk of eczema. Applied with a sponge, the active ingredient comes in high concentration exactly where it should be.

Maintain gently.
Dry, cracked skin is a defensive void. The gentle Stiefel Eczem Protect lotion gives the skin back lost moisture and immediately relieves itching.

Stiefel Eczem Protect contains herbal extracts that promote healing such as clove, juniper and lavender. By massaging in the lotion, its depth is promoted and the skin is nourished so that it is supple so that it no longer tears open so quickly. The clove oil contained in it can on the one hand have a pain-relieving and numbing effect and on the other hand also prevent inflammation of the skin. The protective and revitalising active ingredients can ensure rapid regeneration of the skin and promote wound closure and the regeneration of tissue. Stiefel Eczem Protect is not only effective against sweet itch, but also very helpful for protection against chafing in the tail and other dry skin areas.

Treat preventively when the coat is changing
The problem of sweet itch should be tackled preventively and holistically. In sensitive horses, it makes sense to support the supply of minerals as early as the coat change so that the skin structure is not weakened in the first place and becomes a target for insects to attack. Zinc Plus feed is suitable for this.

Be aware: If your animal is affected too much by the itching and suffers from it, the veterinarian should always be consulted to get the problem under control as quickly as possible.