It’s not uncommon for horse owners to ask, “Why is my horse itching all over?” Horse skin can take on many different appearances, but sometimes it can be dry and itchy. Sometimes, affected horses have a pinkish or reddish rash across the back, neck, chest, or belly.
Horses can be allergic to many things, including allergens from hay dust and mites found in straw bedding, the urine of some animals, and other parasite eggs that contaminate the soil where pastures are built. If your horse is scratching and biting frequently, there’s a chance that they have a skin disorder called “pruritus.” In this article, we will go in-depth on natural remedies to help treat excessive itching in horses
What Causes Itching In Horses?
Horses can develop allergic reactions to bacterial infections, insect bites, and contact with certain plants. Some horses have allergies that produce an itchy rash anywhere on their bodies. A horse’s skin can become inflamed because of an infection such as ringworm or other types of fungus such as yeast or dermatophytes. When a horse has an allergy, the signs may include excessive scratching and biting, rubbing and pawing at the neck, face, or flanks. This can cause bald spots to develop.
Causes can include parasites such as hookworms and roundworms, infecting horses in poor pastures. Other common reasons are:
|Excessive bathing or body folds and licking|
|Insufficient grooming (not enough brushing or washing)|
|A dirty or sweaty coat or skin (excess oils in some breeds)|
|Allergies to pollen, plants, grasses, insects, or fleas on the body or haircoat|
|Enlargement of mites on the skin.|
What Home Remedies Can I Use to Stop My Horse From Itching?
If your horse is itching, first try to find out the cause of the problem. If your horse has a skin allergy, it will need to be treated for that condition. You can help relieve the itching from an allergic reaction by cleaning and drying the affected areas. Do not allow your horse to rub against fences or other objects as this can irritate the underlying skin; you may need to prevent your horse from having full access to certain areas of your pasture or pen. In terms of treatment, here are some of the best natural remedies to use for your horse:
|Coconut Oil: When a horse has a skin condition over what is natural, Coconut Oil can be used as an effective treatment. It is also great for treating dry hooves too. Apply the oil to the affected areas of your horse’s coat and skin twice a day.|
|Apple Cider Vinegar: This works great for the itchy skin of horses as well as helping promote healthy hair growth. Apply the undiluted vinegar to the affected areas on your horse, especially the neck area.|
|Lavender Essential Oil: This oil is great for soothing dry skin in horses. To use this, mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with some coconut oil and rub it into your horse’s coat and skin. Do this every day, preferably two to three times per day, until you notice an improvement in your horse’s skin condition.|
|Zinc Flush: This treating dry skin in horses involves adding zinc to a bath. To do this, mix two tablespoons of zinc flakes into your horse’s bath and allow them to soak in it for ten minutes.|
|Tea Tree Oil: This oil can treat skin issues in horses. To use it, add one drop of tea tree oil (it can also be bought as oil) into about two ounces of coconut oil and apply it to your horse’s skin twice daily.|
|Zinc Oxide: This oil can treat minor skin irritations in horses. Mix one tablespoon of zinc oxide with four tablespoons of glycerin and apply it to your horse’s coat two to three times daily until you notice an improvement.|
|Hydrocortisone Cream: This cream can be used to treat the itchy skin of horses. Apply a thin layer between and under the horse’s legs or on its belly. It is also great for relieving hot spots or dry skin in horses.|
|Glycerin (Vitamin E): This can be used to treat dry skin in horses, particularly those who may already have problems with hair loss. Apply this to your horse’s coat and skin for a few days in a row before you notice an improvement.|
|Epsom Salts: To help horses with dry skin, add between two and four tablespoons of Epsom salts in a bucket of water and then pour it over your horse’s backside. Use this once or twice per week for one week at a time.|
|Turmeric: This is an effective natural remedy for the itchy skin of horses too. To use turmeric, apply it to the affected areas of your horse’s coat and skin.|
|Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera can be used for various skin conditions in horses, including allergies. To use this natural remedy, apply the gel from an Aloe Vera leaf directly to your horse’s skin.|
|Carrots and Carrot Oil: The root vegetable carrots are great for promoting healthy fur growth in horses. Rub the juice from a few carrots over your horse’s skin once or twice per week to use this remedy. This can help prevent hair loss or excessive shedding too.|
|Oatmeal: This is another way to help soothe dry skin in horses and prevent excessive hair loss. To use this remedy, mix the one-part oatmeal powder with three parts water and then apply it to your horse’s coat by rubbing it in the fur as you would for a curry comb.|
|Yogurt: Yogurt contains lactic acid, making it an effective moisturizer for dry skin in horses. It can also help keep your horse’s coat shiny. To use this remedy, add a small dollop of yogurt to each meal you give your horse at least once or twice per week.|
|Cornstarch: This can help the skin of horses with dry skin or hot spots. Mix one or two tablespoons of cornstarch into some water and repeat this several times per week until you notice an improvement.|
|Salmon Oil: This organic oil from salmon is an effective moisturizer for horses with dry skin or hot spots. To use this remedy, rub a small amount on your horse’s coat about once per week until you notice an improvement.|
Does Vinegar Stop Itching on my horse?
The back of a horse is a natural place to apply vinegar because of its soft and sensitive skin. To stop your horse from itching, apply the vinegar using a cotton ball and wipe it away at least once per week. You can also use this remedy during the day if you notice that your horse has an outbreak of dry skin.
Is Baking Soda Good For My Horse Itching?
Baking soda can help relieve the itch of a horse’s skin. Simply mix in a nice-sized bowl with enough water to make it into a paste and then apply it directly to the affected areas. Leave it on for at least half an hour before washing off with warm water and soap.
What Natural Herb Is Good For Stopping Itching on Horses?
Basil has various uses for a horse, including treating dry skin in horses. To use this remedy, simply allow the basil leaves to dry out thoroughly. Then crush them into a fine powder and rub it directly over your horse’s skin and coat to help soothe any itching that he may be experiencing. Alternatively, you can add basil to your horse’s food.
When To See Your Vet About Your Horses Itching
Whenever you feel that your horse is itching, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. The vet will diagnose the cause of the itch and then recommend a suitable treatment plan for your horse. If allergy testing is needed, your vet can do this as well. Your vet can also diagnose other skin conditions, such as fungal infections that may be causing your horse to itch.
As a horse owner, you want your horse to be comfortable. If you notice that your horse is itching more than normal and it’s gone on for more than a few hours or days, you should take him to the vet. The vet can properly diagnose the problem and begin treatment at the earliest opportunity to keep the condition from getting worse. You can apply these treatments at home, but it is important to ensure they are safe to use before putting them on. If you use them incorrectly, severe reactions may occur.
If your horse is scratching non-stop, you may want to consider the underlying cause of the itch. It may not be an allergy that’s causing the symptoms. A vet can perform allergy testing and determine if this is truly the problem or not. Above all, remember to check for and treat any underlying conditions first. If your horse is scratching and suffering, talk with a vet about treatment options.