Itchy Arsenal

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I enjoyed the thoroughness of Dr. Grant Miller?s article about itchy horses (July and August 2012). I have a lot of sympathy for itchy horses, as I used to have eczema myself.? It can really, truly drive you crazy.? I applaud this article and the many solutions.

I would like to add one more to the arsenal, if you don't mind.? As an equine veterinarian, certified in acupuncture and chiropractic, I can tell you with certainty that acupuncture works great for itchy horses (see Horse Journal, May 2012).? It doesn't help so much for horse with hives, but horses that are going crazy (and driving their owner crazy!) with itching, I highly recommend it.? I've had horses with no mane and tail remaining completely stop itching after only one or two acupuncture treatments.

Renee Tucker, DVM, California

Editor?s Note: Dr. Tucker is the author of ?Where Does My Horse Hurt'? which is available at Horse Books Etc. (www.horsebookset.com, 800-952-5813.). Horse Journal subscribers can save an additional 10% through Sept 14.

MITES, TOO

We just wanted to remind you about mites and itchy horses. Mites on legs is a common problem in cold-blooded horses and gypsies. If you see your horse stomping, itching legs on fences or troughs or biting at their legs, consider mites.

Name Withheld by Request, New York

NUTRITIONAL ASPECT

I read with interest your recent articles on itchy horses. My itchy Quarter Horse, in past summers, has rubbed his face and jowls raw from scratching and has had some midline dermatitis as well. I have had some success with a couple of non-drug remedies that I wanted to share with you:

Flaxseed: Feeding flaxseed can help with some allergic responses in horses (and can certainly do no harm).? I now feed 1/2 cup whole flaxseed daily to the itchy horse as well as his stable mates and have observed some reduction in itching this summer?not exactly a scientific study, but their coats look great and they enjoy the seed in any case!

Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus Lotion: This bug-repellent lotion is also a mild sunblock (30 SPF) and is a human product that I originally bought for myself and tried using it on the horses? faces, and it works great.? It is water-resistant and gentle enough to use on children, so I knew it would be OK for the sensitive skin on the horses? noses and cheeks.

Dr. Jean Lewis, Tennessee

MORE ENVIRONMENTAL IDEAS

I enjoyed Dr. Deb Eldredge?s Veterinary Viewpoint in the August issue about horse people as natural naturalists. Horse people and hunters (deer and duck hunters as well as foxhunters) have led the way on land conservation.

I know Horse Journal has done pieces on recycling, but it drives me crazy to see the waste at horse shows. It would be so nice to see receptacles for recycling drink cans and bottles. Since most show managers don't seem to have the bandwidth to recycle, I always take garbage bags and encourage my friends to recycle. I then take the recyclables home with me.

I did the same at my former barn. Now I am glad to see that the barn owner (or maybe another boarder) is doing the same. I want to encourage everyone to recycle at horse shows and other events.

Martha A. Woodham, Georgia