What are the treatments for horse mange?

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What are the treatments for horse mange?
(Elizabeth Zimmerman)

Chorioptic mange in your horse can be a very troublesome and ugly infestation. Your horse could develop hair loss and infected skin. Not to mention the severe itching associated with mange mites. There are some good treatments available to kill the mites and treat the skin. It takes any where from one week to a month to treat mange mites depending on the severity of the infection.

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Identification

Chorioptic mange is the term used when tiny mites infest the skin of mammals. In horses it is the larger draft breeds that are most affected although it can infest any horse or pony. The legs and around the mane are the most common areas of infection. Precise identification can only be made under a microscope. Your Veterinarian will take a skin scraping to test. You can suspect mange if your horse has patches of unexplained hair loss.

Symptoms

Horses with mange will kick stomp and bite at the infected areas. In mild cases there will be patchy hair loss. In more severe cases the hair loss will cover a large portion of the body. The skin underneath will become thick and scaly. The irritation to the horse worsens at night. If left untreated mange can lead to near total hair loss and severe bleeding of the skin.

Significance

Mange mites are designed to burrow into the skin. This alone causes severe discomfort to your horse. The mites leave open wounds where bacteria can enter the skin leading to secondary infections. In many cases the secondary bacterial infections are far worse than the mange itself. mange is highly contagious so infected animals should be isolated until the mange is completely eradicated.

Topical Treatments

There are several topical treatments available to treat mange. These come in the form of shampoos and body scrubs. The common ingredient in most of these treatments is iodine. Iodine not only kills the mites but helps treat any bacterial infections as well. A home remedy consists of mixing 59.1ml 7% iodine with one bottle of baby shampoo. Thoroughly scrub the horse down with this solution and leave it on the skin for 20 minutes before rinsing. Continue this treatment daily for a minimum of one week and a maximum of four weeks. The entire body needs to be treated as well as any tack used on the horse during the infection. Fipronil is another external parasite treatment available in a spray that has been shown to kill mange mites. Follow the manufactures instructions for frequency of use.

Internal Treatments

There are a few drugs on the market that kill mange mites and can be administered orally or injected. Ivomectrin and Doramectin are the brand names for a group of drugs that is given orally or by injection. These drugs are stored in the animals body fat and released over time. There is a wide variety of generic drugs in this group. Their names will all end with mectrin. One dose of this treatment is usually all that is necessary but always consult your Veterinarian. They target both internal and external parasites. If bacterial infection is also present an antibiotic is necessary as well.

Prevention/Solution

Once you realise your animal has mange it needs to be isolated from all other animals until treatment if finished. To help prevent re-infestation disinfect your stable or barn area with an iodine solution. Avoid contact with other animals not living on your property as much as possible. Follow a regular parasite control regimen. Many oral worm treatments contain a form of Ivomectrin and will help prevent mange infestation as well.

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