03 May 2019

Elite Equine and Itchy Skin Allergies

Melanie Sweeney, horse nutritionist, writes:

“‘The Itch’ reappears annually during the warm, humid months, is most prevalent in coastal regions and is not contagious.  The tiny creatures responsible for this considerable problem are usually female midges (flies of the genus Culicoides) who are most active in the early mornings and late afternoons/evenings.  Individual susceptibility to the bites of these midges is sometimes based on genetic inheritance as there seems to be a “family incidence” which correlates more with the dam than the sire.  The condition occurs in horses of all ages other than the first year of life.

Dealing with allergies such as Culicoides hypersensitivity can be challenging, for although the obvious symptoms are external – itchy skin – this is, quite literally, merely the surface of the issue.  If a problem is manifesting itself externally, then a look at internal function is in order.  The skin is not only affected by environmental factors but also by systemic factors. Therefore, the search for a solution to The Itch must incorporate as many of the external, environmental protections as possible while also addressing the internal, systemic issues.

One way of viewing allergic reactions is to see them as being caused not by too much of the wrong substances but rather too little of the right substances to keep the system in order. The foods that our itchy horses need is those that will encourage a healthy immune system, as well as foods/nutrients that are anti-inflammatory and antihistamine (counteracting the effects of histamine).

It is very important to remember that dietary supplements can take a number of weeks to elicit a change and in order to be most effective they should ideally be employed before the itchy season starts, as a protective measure, rather than waiting until a horse known to be prone to The Itch starts exhibiting symptoms.

Rosehips are often fed to horses recuperating from illness or injury as they help to restore the immune system, but rosehips are also a good source of Vitamin C, a powerful natural antihistamine.” [1]

Elite Equine 100% organic rosehip supplement is the ideal add-on to build your horse’s natural defenses.

To place an order, please visit our website at www.eliteequineuk.com

 

[1] https://countrypark.com.au/dietary-help-for-the-itchy-horse/

 

Photo by olivergoldacker at https://pixabay.com/photos/horse-with-black-background-quarter-2752571/

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