Could insects be any more irritating? They buzz around, bite, and can spread disease.
They’re pests to people and horses alike. As late summer and early fall roll around, insect populations can boom.
Diseases can thrive as a result. Many pests carry bacteria and pathogens that can enter your horse’s system, leaving the horse with an illness or infection.
Here are a few diseases to be on the lookout for this season.
Ticks often carry Lyme disease. It’s caused by bacteria, not the tick itself.
However, if a tick is infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, the tick can transmit Lyme disease with a single bite (Ouch!).
If you’re in an area with ticks, it’s crucial to be on alert and possibly avoid areas where ticks are known to flourish. Lyme disease can impact dogs, horses, humans, and other animals.
In horses, signs of Lyme disease include weight loss, muscle soreness, and swelling around joints.
Also called dryland distemper, pigeon fever is another illness caused by bacteria, namely Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis.
Signs of pigeon fever include the development of abscesses and lymphatic swelling. The disease is called pigeon fever because infected horses can develop swelling throughout their pectorals.
Their pectorals look as if they’re imitating a pigeon’s rounded, feathered breast.
Yet, horses can become infected by coming into contact with contaminated soil. They can also become infected by being around other horses with pigeon fever. Unfortunately, flies and insects are also common carriers of the disease.
Unlike Lyme disease and pigeon fever, vesicular stomatitis is caused by a virus. Horses with VS may present blisters in the mouth, on the tongue, around the lips, and near the nostrils.
It’s not uncommon for blisters to appear around the coronary bands above the hoof or along the udders or sheath. The blisters can cause serious discomfort and eventually break.
Breakage can lead to blockages in the passage of much-needed blood to vital organs and tissues. Blisters around the mouth and nostrils may cause the horse to avoid eating or drinking, which can lead to other health concerns related to weight loss, dehydration, and malnutrition.
West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes — and only by mosquitoes. When infected, horses may show signs of weakness, muscle spasms, and an inability to stand.
In more severe cases, horses can lose balance, fall, and remain immobilized on the ground. These cases of West Nile can be fatal.
West Nile highlights the necessity to manage stagnant water and to do what you can to reduce contact with mosquito populations. When taking your horses out of their stables, use a safe and natural insect repellent as a reliable defense against West Nile virus.
Certain herbs for horses (like citronella, eucalyptus, and peppermint) — along with other horse supplements formulated to boost a horse’s immune system — can help repel and keep mosquitoes at a distance.
Worms, Parasites, and Other Pests
Tapeworms, botflies, and other pests are also common during late summer. Parasites can burrow their way into the skin of horses, dogs, and other animals.
These pests can cause weight loss, lethargy, diarrhea, colic, and a number of other health issues. It’s essential to keep horse and natural dog dewormers on hand to help reduce the presence of parasites in your animals.
In all cases of illness, reaching out to your horse’s vet is a great first step to making sure you give them the exact care they need.
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We’re committed to delivering high-quality herbal solutions to help keep your animals feeling and performing their best. From horse probiotics to horse dewormers, you can find safe and effective horse supplements for any concern you may have with your animals.
We’re also committed to the health and wellness of your canine companions with options like our natural dog dewormer and Skin & Coat Support. Our commitment doesn’t stop there.
We even have supplements for you and your family. Discover all the ways you can harness the power of effective plant-based goodness with Silver Lining Herbs.Boost your horse’s immune system during bug season with supplements only found on our website, www.silverliningherbs.com.