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Sweet itch horse? Then start taking these steps now!

It may sound a bit early and exaggerated, but now is the time to prepare your horse with sweet itch for the coming itching season. Many problems with sweet itch are caused by feed (stomach and intestines). And dietary changes take several months to positively affect the stomach and intestines. Winter is therefore the ideal opportunity to support and prepare your horse in advance.

1 – Unpackaged vs. Packed hay

Did you know that packed hay (hay dry / silage) disrupts the acidity of the stomach and intestines and that, as a result, minerals are less well absorbed? Horses that receive packed hay (no matter how dry) therefore have an increased need for minerals. The hay in plastic acidifies and has a conversion by bacteria, even with extremely dry hay. The plastic prevents the hay from breathing. Compare it with a broccoli in plastic from the supermarket. After a few days you suddenly see drops on the inside. The same thing happens with packed hay and this has a negative effect on the stomach and intestinal flora, causing the resistance of your horse to drop. Does your horse have sweet itch? Then give unwrapped hay so that the acidity is not disturbed and the resistance is not reduced. And don’t do this only when the season starts, but start doing this in the winter. The stomach and intestines need some time to optimize the acidity.

But what if you have no choice? Then choose to do at least one feeding yourself and to bring the hay yourself. And in that case always give extra easily absorbable vitamins and minerals via a ‘balancer’ (grain-free).

2 – Replace concentrates (grain-based) with a balancer

Concentrated food disrupts the stomach and intestines and thus affects the health of the horse. Large amounts of concentrate in one meal cannot properly prepared by the horse’s stomach for digestion, the result is that the stomach is emptied before the feed is preprocessed by the stomach acid. As a result, the food further down in the intestines is not digested properly and not all the nutrients are absorbed.

If the feed also has grains as a basis (and pay close attention to the ingredients list, because there are many types of names) then the acidity of the stomach and intestines is disturbed and the need for minerals increases. And the sugars (and starch) also have a negative influence on the digestion and therefore the resistance of the horse.

For almost all horses, a daily ration based on unpackaged hay and a grain-free balancer / vitamin chunk (Vitalbix, Pavo Vital, Agrobs, Equifyt, etc.) is sufficient. If you still want to add concentrate to your horse with sweet itch, choose a grain-free variant that is low in sugar. Also give portions of less than 500 grams at a time to avoid overfilling the stomach. The stomach of horses is very small in relation to the intestines. More than 500 grams is really too much to give at once. The most important thing is that your horse gets sufficient quality roughage in one day.

3 – Cleaning up waste products in the body

Accumulated waste products in the body cause the liver and kidneys to have a reduced capacity. This can not only reduce the resistance, the horse is also more vulnerable to inflammatory reactions in the body. The winter period is therefore very suitable for cleaning up the body of your horse. Think of giving liquid nettle for its blood-purifying properties and doing a detox in the autumn and spring (around February / March). Next to that it is natural that horses loose weight in the winter. Don’t give extra feed. Losing weight is necessary to clean up the waste products from the adipose tissue. Make sure your horse does not enter the spring too fat. In the spring there are more sugars in the grass.

4 – Support the resistance and the ECS-system

The most important thing your horse needs for a good resistance are sufficient vitamins and minerals. But it is also good to optimize the ECS-system. The endocannabinoid system is a body’s own system that sends signals of problems to the brain so that the brain can respond to them. The system regulates certain processes in the body, such as pain, inflammation and the immune system. When a horse is sick or under stress, the body may produce less cannabinoids itself. That is why it is good to have these up to date before the sweet itch season starts. These cannabinoids ensure that the ECS system is supplemented and that the self-healing capacity of the horse is stimulated. Cannabinoids can be found in, for example, a liquid clove supplement.

But liquid nettle also has a positive effect on the immune system and on the intestinal flora. It also purifies the blood, making it ideal in the summer period to provide to your horse with sweet itch. This also makes your horse less attractive to insects. You give liquid nettle over the feed in a cure of 14 days, or offer it in a separate water bowl so that your horse can take it as needed.

–> Read more about the ECS-system

–> Read more about cannabinoids

5 – Start treating sweet itch on time

With sweet itch, it is really important that you start on time and not only when the horse is already itching, because then you are already too late and you are running behind the facts.

In winter, start optimizing resistance, proper nutrition and supporting the ECS system. Is the temperature rising, midges have been spotted and is the sun already present? Then start with the following measures:

  • Use an eczema blanket in time
  • Don’t feed concentrate, but feed a “balancer”
  • Make sure your horse is not on the fresh grass after a cold night (lots of sugars)
  • Change the water daily, especially on hot days
  • Use a fly spray on windless days

But also make sure that you already start with Finecto+ Horse, a herbal mixture that ensures that your horse is less attractive to midges. This has the advantage that your horse will be stung less and therefore less itching. But this is part of the total approach! Limit sugars, start on time with the blanket and treat any wounds immediately. Only by consistently performing all steps can you control sweet itch!

–> Read the 10 steps to reducing sweet itch in horses

Finecto+ Horse
Finecto+ Horse
  • More than 95% less problems with mites, midges and lice
  • 100% natural and contains no poison.
  • The strength of herbs
  • Ordered before 15.00 u, sent the same day!
  • 600 g
Finecto+ Horse 3KG
Finecto+ Horse 3KG
  • More than 95% less problems with ectoparasites
  • 100% natural and contains no poison.
  • The strength of herbs
  • Ordered before 15.00 u, sent the same day!
  • 3000 g
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