One of your worse nightmares might be to discover that your horse has rubbed their tail raw. Most horse owners work hard to keep their horse’s hair lush and long. It’s the envy of all riders. However, it happens to the best of horses… an itchy tail. Find out what may be causing it!
Top Reasons for Itchy Tails
1. Pinworms: This internal parasite is known to cause tail rubbing. They’re commonly seen in younger horses, but adult equines may also be plagued by them. The pregnant pinworm lays eggs around the anus by using a sticky substance. White and yellow dirt may be seen around your horse’s rectum, if they have these worms.
The eggs fall from your horse and end up in their stall or field. The larvae is then accidentally ingested when the horse grazes. And thus, the cycle continues.
Speak with your veterinarian to diagnose pinworms. A dewormer like ivermectin is usually helpful.
2. Sweet itch: During the spring and summer, biting midge can cause excessive tail itching. Their saliva can lead to chronic skin irritation. These nasty flies attack mostly at dusk and dawn. You’ll want to leave your horse inside, apply repellent, or use a fly sheet.
3. Dry skin: Flaky, dry skin on the base of the tail can cause a lot of rubbing. You could be over-bathing your horse, which stripes them of their natural oils, or maybe the weather is hot and dry. Try adding additional omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to their diet. This will improve their overall skin and hair quality.
4. Dirty udder or sheath: Your mare or gelding could be extra itchy if you haven’t cleaned their udder or sheath area in a while. Dead skin, dirt, and natural oils can gather in the folds of these areas. It can cause an irritation! Make sure to check them regularly.
5. Boredom: Your horse may develop a habit of taking their hind end across their feeder or hay rack. It could be caused by stall confinement. A toy or extra field time may be just the solution!
It can be hard to pinpoint the exact reason your horse is so itchy. Consider enlisting the help of your vet, if the problem worsens.
Check this out for more help: A Deworming Schedule To Keep Your Horse Protected!