WHAT IS SWEET ITCH?
Sweet Itch in horses, ponies and donkeys is an allergic response to the saliva in the bite of the Culicoides midge (gnat, no-see-um, punky) and to a lesser degree the black fly (Simulium Equinum), horn fly and stable fly which gives rise to intense itching. Alternative names for Sweet Itch are IBH - insect bite hypersensitivity - Queensland Itch, Equine Summer Itch and SSRD or Summer Seasonal Recurrent Dermatitis. Why is it called Sweet Itch? Go here.
PICTURE SOURCE ABOVE: Lingfield Equine Vets
More pictures here. Click. With big enlargements.Click here to see Sweet Itch on a horse's face.
The intense itching is followed by an autoimmune over-reaction as the immune system attempts to rectify the original mistake which results in ulceration and thickening of the skin. The allergy and the autoimmune response are both caused by immune system dysregulation, according to Professor John Stanford, Scientific Director, of BioEos Ltd.
NO CURE FOR SWEET ITCH YET IN 2014
Since there is no cure for Sweet Itch once lesions have appeared the only remedy for this affliction is one of prevention - keeping the midges off - and treatment to ameliorate the itching and discomfort.
A GUIDE TO SWEET ITCH
www.sweet-itch.org - a Guide to Sweet Itch in horses sponsored by veterinary herbalists GLOBAL HERBS - is broken into short sections for ease-of-reading, to allow time-pressed horse riders/owners to access information rapidly. It has been written primarily for riders experiencing Sweet Itch for the first time, and in need of some speedy help
. Global offer free online vet advice - see tel number at the bottom of the page - or send for a free catalogue. Head your message 'SWEET ITCH' and send Global your full name and postal address. Click panel below left to get an email form.
INVALUABLE SWEET ITCH EXPERIENCE FROM THE GRASS ROOTS
There is a lot of experience and useful knowledge of Sweet Itch at grass roots level which newcomers - and even those with some experience of Sweet Itch - may find helpful.
Hence, the section entitled 'Comments and Reviews' where we tap into forums and sites of special interest. It could just as easily have been called 'Feedback from The Stable Yard.'
SWEET ITCH FORUM
Later this year (2014) we shall add a Sweet Itch Forum where you'll be able to debate Sweet Itch issues and contribute ideas of your own.
TREATMENT OF SWEET ITCH - GETTING STARTED
Defined as " care provided to improve a situation", we split the subject into two parts: PREVENTION: KEEPING THE MIDGES OFF and THERAPIES (under TREATMENT in the menu panel)to ameliorate the itching or correct the immune response
EVERY HORSE HAS DIFFERENT NEEDS
It's important to remember every horse responds differently to therapy. What suits your friend's horse may not suit yours. An insect repellent, or supplement, which keeps off midges from one horse may be ineffective with another.
GOOGLE INSIGHTS FOR SEARCH TERM SWEET ITCH
See chart below.
To learn how the midge population behaves in Scotland go to the Scottish Midge Forecast 2014 in News (last page).
SPONSORED BY GLOBAL HERBS
Sweet-itch.org is Sponsored by:-
Global Herbs: 01243 773363
Free Online Veterinary Advice on 01243 773363 (UK), International number:+44 1243 773363
Out of hours mobile number: 07734 240 709 (UK)
To obtain a free catalogue email your name and full postal address and head the email CATALOGUE - SWEET ITCH
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