Tell me about Mites please?

Kite_Rider

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May 18, 2009
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Not mine but one of the new horses on our yard has been stamping a lot and constantly shoving his feet through the rails of the paddock, gate, electric tape in fact anything he can scratch on.
Apparently the farrier said he has mites although I didn't think you could see them with the naked eye (unlike lice) but I may be wrong.
So question really is how contagious are they?
Also is it safe to treat with jeys fluid? I would have thought that would be far to strong to use on skin, but again not something I've ever had to deal with so don't know.
Basically should I be concerned and if so what do I treat with if she does get them or would it be better to get the vet if she starts showing any signs of having them?
 

Flipo's Mum

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Never heard of jays fluid being used, I wouldn't be too keen to use it but thats just me! Other horse who field shares didn't get mites when my boy had them twice. I used pipettes of spot on for dogs - one large dog pipette for each leg and redo ten day later once any eggs hatch. From then on, I used pig oil and three years later I've never had any more problems. No clipping, no vet (dectomax had to done twice so extra vet call outs and the mites came back.)
 

Trewsers

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Chloe has feather mites - we have the Dectomax injection from the vet which helps. I have never seen them. Vet said you could see some mites but not sure if he meant lice as we were talking about the skin on her back at that point. I wouldn't have thought Jeyes was a good idea but I could be wrong - I would think if there is broken skin through itching then it would be horribly painful for the horse and would sting?
Chloe can get pretty crafty about stamping and getting some relief. She will stand with her back leg caught in the fence to obtain relief!!!
I would have said the vet would be the best person to offer some treatment to your fellow livery - as I am not sure home made remedies would work. We also clip her feathers back as much as possible. I also have some mite wash on prescription that we only need apply once in a blue moon - our vets make this formula up themselves. Perhaps if your horse gets them then you could ask if they do similar? Storm has never had them - despite sharing more or less everything with Chloe - but these are mites and not lice.
 

Mary Poppins

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I really wouldn't be putting jays fluid anywhere near a horse!

There are several things that you can do for mites. There are medicated shampoos and powders you can buy over the counter which can work to a certain extent. Pig oil and sulpher can also help as this stops the mites attaching to the hair. You could try frontline (which is really for dogs and cats but many vets are happy for equines to use it as well), or if the mites are really bad the vet can give an injection.

Some people like to clip legs out, some prefer to keep hair on. If they are really bad I would be phoning the vet for advice.
 

Mary Poppins

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I don't think that mites are contagious in the same way that lice are. Mites are normally more common in heavy horses with feathers. Another horse in my field has them badly but Ben has not be affected.
 

Kite_Rider

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Thanks for the replies, you've put my mind at rest.
I'll keep an eye and will try the frontline. pig oil if she starts to show any signs. My vets also recommend the frontline approach - goggling this morning came up with a fact sheet from them.
The thought of jeys fluid fills me with worry and would not be something I would use (I used to use it for disinfecting my dog kennel) and it seems to be pretty potent stuff, but that's what livery is using.
I may tentatively suggest she try the frontline, but don't like to interfere to be honest, it's her horse at the end of the day, up to her how she treats it.
 

Trewsers

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Yes I know what you mean about not wanting to interfere - is she new to horse keeping? Just wondered if she'd been misinformed? I would mention in a diplomatic way if possible - but as you say beware of coming across as interfering.
 

Kite_Rider

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Yes I know what you mean about not wanting to interfere - is she new to horse keeping? Just wondered if she'd been misinformed? I would mention in a diplomatic way if possible - but as you say beware of coming across as interfering.

Yes she's very new to horse ownership and the trouble with me is I'm not very good at being diplomatic, I tend to open my mouth and out it comes! Which is one of the reasons I bite my tongue a lot.
 

Trewsers

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Yes she's very new to horse ownership and the trouble with me is I'm not very good at being diplomatic, I tend to open my mouth and out it comes! Which is one of the reasons I bite my tongue a lot.

Well I'd be tempted to offer some advice - if she's anything like I was she'll welcome it. One of the things I was glad of on our first yard was people to help. Little things that we take for granted - like say for instance knowing how tight to do up belly straps on rugs etc - I hadn't much idea so was glad when my next door stable mate advised me.
 

Flipo's Mum

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I'd just stress not to apply the pig oil until all mites are gone, it's a preventative, otherwise it just blocks them in as far as I can tell. I was a newbie when this happened to me, I got the vet out and it cost me a small fortune. Never again, but we live and learn and I'm sure she will aswell, just hope belle doesn't get them but not the end of the world if she does x
 

Cortrasna

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Never heard of jays fluid being used, I wouldn't be too keen to use it but thats just me! Other horse who field shares didn't get mites when my boy had them twice. I used pipettes of spot on for dogs - one large dog pipette for each leg and redo ten day later once any eggs hatch. From then on, I used pig oil and three years later I've never had any more problems. No clipping, no vet (dectomax had to done twice so extra vet call outs and the mites came back.)

This, all the above is the only thing that really gets rid of them once and for all IMO. And if you keep up with the PO&S after they have cleared up it should keep them away for good.

Incidentally, it isn't only feathered horses that can get them, they are more likely too, but I have had it in a couple of horses with little or no feather also. Dogs can also pick them up from walking in long grass, so not surprising that horses do too.
 

Tina2011

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I had them once when Evie came to me. I used Frontline spray for dogs. Expensive but it worked a treat.

I did not disinfect, just changed all the bedding. One spray on all the feathers, and it never came back:smile:
 
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