Temperatures are rising, horses have started shedding. Spring is really coming! Does your horse have sweet itch? Then this (February / March) is the ideal time to do a detox in preparation for the season. Read more about this in this blog.
Why detox a horse?
The liver and kidneys are important for the purification of the body. As a result, nutrients can be better absorbed and the waste products are professionally sent out of the body. But as soon as the organs are “full” they become overloaded and can no longer perform their function properly. And nowadays horses no longer have the rhythm of the seasons. In general, horses are overweight all year round and do not have to lose weight in the winter (just like in nature).
And it is precisely that (losing weight in the winter) is extremely important. Waste products are stored in adipose tissue and because the horse loses weight, these waste products are removed. Horses in nature actually have their own detox by losing weight, but they also look for different plants and herbs that help support the liver and kidneys. Today’s horse lacks this possibility and therefore loses its waste less well and that is precisely why a detox is important for the horse.
A detox is extra important for horses with sweet itch
For horses with a disease, a detox is even more important, also for horses with weet itch. A horse with sweet itch has an allergic reaction to the saliva of midges. These allergic reactions are actually all small inflammations under the skin that cause itching. But these allergic reactions also cause waste products. It is therefore extremely important for a horse with sweet itch to have a body that is as clean as possible so that the kidneys and liver are not overloaded and can absorb nutrients as well as possible and remove the coming waste products.
Horses with sweet itch therefore benefit from a detox twice a year, in the spring and in the autumn. In this way you ensure that the liver and kidneys can continue to do their job properly and that the horse can process the allergic reactions in the body as well as possible.
Choose a detox that you give for a maximum of one week, this will put the least strain on the horse. A detox costs the horse energy. Is your horse sick or is it in a worse condition? Please contact us first to discuss whether a detox is responsible.
A detox is part of measures against sweet itch
A detox is not a panacea and does not prevent your horse from getting itchy, it is part of the various measures that you should take to minimize discomfort for your horse. Below we briefly list which measures can also contribute to reducing sweet itch:
- Nutrition is the basis: do not give concentrates based on grains, but give a balancer with pre-mix vitamins and minerals. In addition, unpackaged roughage and not on the land on days when there are a lot of sugars in the grass.
- Avoid overweight: overweight horses are more sensitive to itching and inflammatory reactions. Therefore, make sure that your horse maintains its weight properly!
- Limit sugars: Horses on a high-sugar diet are more sensitive to summer eczema. The sweeter blood may make the horse more attractive to midges. But sugars also cause a disrupted intestinal flora, which leads to a reduced resistance and therefore a greater chance of inflammatory reactions. Therefore, be critical with concentrate, preferably choose a grain-free product or balancer.
- Start treatment on time: you cannot start treatment too early with sweet itch! If you do this only after the horse is itching, then you are actually already too late and you start with a disadvantage. Therefore, put the blanket on time and start with the first measures in the winter.
- Internal support: Choose a product that makes your horse unattractive to midges, keeping the insects at bay. Always choose a 100% natural product for this. A product with cannabinoids also helps the horse with sweet itch, which supports the resistance and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
- Support externally: Still wounds from sanding? Then choose an itch-relieving, soothing ointment so that the skin can recover quickly. A wound causes inflammatory reactions, which causes itching and as a result the horse will rub again. Try to break that circle!
Conclusion: a clean body contributes to the total approach to sweet itch
Sweet itch is a condition that causes a lot of stress for the horse, but also for the owner. It requires a lot of management and as an owner you really have to be consistent. Sweet itch cannot be solved with 1 ointment, it is a range of measures and with this you should start in the winter with adjusting the diet and a detox. Do not give concentrates, only a balancer is sufficient in addition to the roughage. Provide a clean body with a detox so that the horse gets a better resistance and can therefore better solve the inflammatory reactions.