Page 21



weet Itch is one of the most common skin diseases seen in the horse. Most horses first start showing signs when they are between 1 and 4 years of age and the condition generally worsens with each summer. All too often ponies purchased during the winter months prove to have Sweet Itch the following summer! Certain breeds are particularly prone to the disease; Icelandic horses, Friesians, Shetland ponies, Shires, Hackneys and Welsh ponies have all been suggested as susceptible breeds. Sweet Itch is caused by hypersensitivity to the bite of the tiny Culicoides midge. The fly is active from March to October but peaks in numbers in May to September. Culicoides are very small and can pass through conventional mosquito netting. They are most active at dawn and dusk. The midges breed in aquatic habitats; any standing water, decaying vegetation and even manure is sufficient. The worst affected sites are usually the tail head, under the mane and underneath the horse’s abdomen. Sometimes the sensation is so strong that horses will cause severe damage to themselves  or their environment, while in extreme cases, horses cannot tolerate tack on their skin, let alone a rider.

DERFEN® Clear - #1 solution in Europe for Sweet Itch Derfen® instantly stops all itchiness. 100% natural, without cortisone or any doping product. It immediately soothes irritations, hydrates the sores and encourages rapid hair re-growth. Derfen® is effective for all types of Equine Dermatitis, with or without itchy irritation. Its texture and its components impregnate the skin; its absence of water content avoids all evaporation, guaranteeing long term effectiveness. Black pepper, oregano and vitamin E provide a regenerating and protective action for the skin. DERFEN®CREAM CLEAR - Cream for itchy equine irritations. Effective for all types of Equine Dermatitis, with or without itchy irritation. It has been specially developed for delicate zones, such as ears, belly, limbs, and for horses with sensitive skin. DERFEN®SOFT - For delicate or sensitive horse skin areas, or for horses that cannot tolerate Derfen® Clear. For more information contact or visit Scratching of the tail head. Affected animals are very itchy, may rub intensely, and become restless. Prolonged rubbing results in crusting, scaling, skin thickening, hair loss and damage to the skin. Mane and tail hairs may be broken.

Signs of Sweet Itch in horses: Mild to severe itching and rubbing, usually along the mane, back and tail; loss of tail and mane hair; bald patches, which can look ugly and grey due to permanent hair loss and skin damage; areas of sore, open, broken skin which tend to bleed; and in some cases, itching along the legs and under the belly.

Prevention of Sweet Itch in horses:

The mane is one of the sites where the flies feed.

A good midge repellent is essential. Many horses can be controlled by being  moved to a hilltop field. Small midge breeding areas, such as water troughs, need to be cleaned often. Stable your horse  from about 4 pm to 8 am when midges are at their worst. Using insect-proof mesh on the windows and doors of stables may help.

NOW CANA IN DA DistributeD by Double DiamonD ranch DERFEN ®, #1 solution in Europe for Sweet Itch - Instantly decreases all horse itchiness - 100% natural, without cortisone - Immediately soothes, hydrates and encourages rapid hair re-growth - Recommended by veterinarians

FOURGEN® - 100% natural hoof solution for thrush - Fights against bacteria & fungus - Keeps the hoof dry and clean - Water repellent - Tested & recommended by the Brussels Farrier School - HCBC 2010 Business of tHe Year • 21

Saddle Up May 2015  

Horse Magazine, Western Canada, English and Western, Club News, Equine