This web page aims to give you a useful and different way of looking at and dealing with Sweet Itch (Recurrent Seasonal Pruritus is another name for the same problem). This very common dermatological ailment of horses is characterised by itchy lesions along the ventral midline, dorsal midline, mane and tail of horses. It is thought to be caused by a type-1 hypersensitivity reaction to the bite of insects from the Culicoides genus i.e. the ‘midges’. [Rosencrantz WS. Systemic/topical therapy. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice 1995;11(1):127–146. ; Kleider N, Lees MJ. Culicoides hypersensitivity in the horse: 15 cases in southwestern British Columbia. Can Vet J 1984;25: 26–32. ]
Affected horses often develop severe skin eruptions due to self-mutilation in an attempt to alleviate the itchiness. Climate change means that sweet itch is becoming more widespread and that this distressing condition is no longer restricted to a short season. Many horse owners are perplexed by this so let’s have a look at what is playing.
- Beta-linked polysaccharides in Aloeride® boost the immune system and also have an anti-inflammatory effect
- The premium quality aloe vera in Aloeride® contains a range of B vitamins – including vitamin B3, which is known to be useful for allergic skin reactions
- Owners report that susceptible horses fed Aloeride® don’t rub affected areas or don’t rub so badly
- Aloe vera is renowned for its wound-healing properties, which leads to healthier, stronger skin
- Aloeride® is a cost effective weapon in the war against sweet itch. In most cases, you need to feed just one sachet a day
- Because Aloeride® is palatable – unlike many other products – there is no waste
If you could change the midge bite response in your horse, so it could enjoy a worry free sweet itch season, would you give this a try ? Well, you can and here’s how we help… particularly if your horse is a fussy eater, you shall want to see how it gets on with our Equine Aloeride® before you order your first carton. Simply click the below image and fill in the details, we’ll dispatch 2 sample sachets free of charge if you pay the postman (a simple and fair quantity rule applies).
We’re as sure as sure can be that Equine Aloeride® also will make a phenomenal difference to how your equine friend copes with insect bites and how its skin and coat will benefit. We’ve seen this happen time and again. Thank you for following this sample up with either a 1-Carton with Freepost or a 3-Carton with 10% Discount, whichever works best for you. Kindly note that this sample is a once-in-a-lifetime offer, repeat or multiple applications will not be honoured.
Typically between late May and early November many horse owners witness their horse to suffer from sweet itch. You all know the symptoms: intense itching, characteristic rubbing – incessant scratching, hair loss, thickening of skin, flaky dandruff and weeping sores with a risk of secondary infection. Beyond sweet itch being purgatory for your horse, it often (and understandably so) changes its temperament making handling and riding a less enjoyable experience for you.
Empirical observation: Even horses with a long (financially draining) history of sweet itch stop scratching quickly after starting them on Equine Aloeride®. Their sores heal up, their coat improves markedly and some owners apply the powder topically in addition to mixing the right dose in with horse feed. Sufferers put on Equine Aloeride® often no longer need rugs or hoods and their happy temperament returns to the benefit and relief of both the horse and its rider. It amazes and delights customers that a feed supplement can make such a huge difference to how their horse responds to (Culicoides) midges (type I hypersensitivity reaction resulting in histamine being produced by the body’s immune system causing swelling and intense itching). By combining the unique aloe vera specification of Aloeride® with proper dosing for horse body mass, this feed supplement is on a gallop to become a favourite. Mouse over the below ‘sweet itch mechanism’ image and see where we believe Aloeride® comes into it.
An adult horse takes 1 sachet of Equine Aloeride® daily during the sweet itch season. Mixed with its normal feed, it remains undetected even by fussy eaters but you can also choose to syringe it up your horse’s mouth. Smaller horses use a portion of the sachet content (see instructions on carton). Commonly the first positive change is less scratching within two weeks. Further to the above ‘mouse over’ picture, this is how Equine Aloeride® makes spontaneous remission possible:
- Beta-linked polysaccharides within Aloeride® have highly immune system modulating properties, and these seem to promote homeostasis rather than only upregulating or only downregulating the immune system. Many of our customers use Aloeride® Extra Strong (our human version exists since 2004) to make the management of their own allergies a lot easier. Now a horse with an allergic reaction to midges can find respite too.
- Beta-linked polysaccharides within Aloeride® have anti-inflammatory effect, Aloeride® also contains plant steroids and plant sterols that do the same.
- Anthraquinones within aloe vera are known to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-virus effect, it is one of the plant’s mechanisms to see off pathogens. The laxative anthraquinones have been removed below detectable levels.
- Aloe vera contains a range of B vitamins, important for sweet itch is B3 (niacin) which is converted in vivo to nicotinamide (niacinamide) which is known to be useful for allergic skin reactions.
- One of the first things you’ll notice is that your horse doesn’t scratch itself so much anymore, how this happens probably is a combination of effects.
- Aloe vera is very well known for wound healing, especially wound healing of epithelial tissue which in respect of sweet itch means a healthier coat, mane and tail. Weeping sores repair quicker (safely from the inside out) and thus cease to be an open invitation to midges.
- Beyond 1 carton of Equine Aloeride® equating to 12 litres of organic aloe vera gel, do take note that there’s a colossal difference between ‘advertised as good aloe vera products’ and Equine Aloeride®. Industry standard laboratory tests measured very significant differences that explain the vigour of Equine Aloeride®.
- If at some point you have spare Equine Aloeride® then you simply put it in your deep freezer and use it for the next sweet itch season.
Other things to consider in sweet itch.
Environmental factors: If this is possible, horses susceptible to sweet itch should be removed from wet land, near water sources and near woodland. Midges are most active at dawn and dusk, so stable your horse from 4pm – 8am in the summer months (i.e. avoid dusk until dawn grazing). Would free roaming horses remain in the field(s) it is in now, is there any possibility to let it graze elsewhere?
Creating a barrier: Full body blankets including neck and belly may prevent ‘dorsal feeders’ midges biting but once sweet itch has taken hold, many an owner has witnessed rugs being scratched to tatters. As midges bite in the warmer seasons, body warmth and perspiratio insensibilis rise underneath the sheets, your horse just like you probably prefers to wear less clothing rather than more in such temperatures (Equine Aloeride® makes that possible). Fitting a fly screen on the stable door may lower the chance of midges entering the stables. Switching on a caged fan in the stable creates air movement, midges cannot fly against air currents stronger than 5 mph.
Coat applications: Will a fly repellent stop a hungry-for-blood midge? This isn’t a failsafe approach but a potent one is Deosect, do be careful when applying it as this stings your horse if there are bites already (do not apply on lesions where skin is broken). Same goes for Versatrine (deltamethrine) just look out for any pulmonary effects of it on your horse. Citronella oil, garlic oil and tea tree oil may put midges off biting but it makes your horse a slippery creature, dust clings to oil really well and their smell may not be to everybody’s liking. Perhaps better to add omega 3&6 oils to feed and improve the skin lipids that way (whilst at the same time improving lipids elsewhere in the horse’s body).
Immunotherapy: For allergy, intolerance and sensitivity within humans some use low-dose immunotherapy antigen vaccines but from experience Han van de Braak knows that this is by no means always successful. The regularly injections necessary to attempt desensitisation all come with a vet bill.
Steroids: Corticosteroid drugs are very effective at decreasing the itching and immuno suppressing but there is the problem with steroid associated kidney disorders and increased risk of laminitis. If you can manage sweet itch without steroids (indeed you can) then so much the better, no vet will disagree with that.
Vitamins & Oil: Fidavet Cavalesse is a natural food supplement that contains Nicotinamide reduces the production of histamine, which causes the itch, and also improves the skin lipid barrier.