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Itches during spring or SME?

Posted in : on 15-11-2021

The transition to spring can bring various conveniences, but unfortunately also inconveniences. It is of course wonderful that your horse can go out into the meadow more often and that the days are longer, so that you have more time for a wonderful outdoor ride. Unfortunately, this being outside is sometimes ruined by bugs, pollen and the first nutritious grass. SME can be a cause that your horse has itches. Luckily there are some products to support your horse during spring and summer!

Read here more about SME, the most common cause of itches in spring

Summer eczema. Also known as tail and mane eczema (SME) or Sweet-Itch, it is caused by a hypersensitivity to the saliva of a mosquito, the Culicoides Robertii, also called midge. Summer eczema is the most common allergy in horses. The intense itching causes many horses to chafe incessantly and often to the point of bleeding, resulting in irritated and thickened areas on the skin, especially between the mane and the tail. The midges are active from spring until well into autumn.

Which horses are prone to summer eczema? Every horse gets stung by a midge at some point. Fortunately, not all horses suffer from tail and mane eczema. SME occurs in every breed of horse, with some breeds being more prone to developing the allergy such as Friesians, Fjords, Halflingers, Icelanders and Shetlanders. You also see that the condition is more common in certain lines and families.

Symptoms may include: Severe itching, tail and mane chafing, tail and mane broken off, bald spots, thickened mane and tail root skin, open wounds on tail and mane.

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