Check your horse for ticks this spring!

by horselover2

Ticks can  transmit infectious diseases including  ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, and piroplasmosis to horses. Severe tick infestations can cause skin irritations and even anemia, a decrease in number of healthy red blood cells.

What to do about ticks:

Check horses thoroughly for ticks , especially on the lower legs and mane when grooming. Large American dog ticks are easy to find, but smaller ticks can be overlooked.

Ticks wander around on animals for a while before they attach to one place.  To remove a tick put on latex or nitrile gloves, grasp the tick very closely to the skin with tweezers, pliers and forceps and apply steady traction. Although it may take a while,  this is the best way to remove the entire tick from the horse’s skin.

Repellents and insecticides with permethrin or cypermethrin provide horses with several hours of protection. These insecticides are very irritating to ticks, so ticks usually drop off before attaching to the horse. Products based on natural ingredients, such as botanical oils, might also give some protection for short periods of time. 

Ticks spend most of their lives on the ground in areas with some shade and humidity and congregate along trails, in overgrown areas, and in margins of wood openings. Direct sunlight and low humidity are their enemies. Keeping brush cut back and clipping pastures will make areas inhospitable for ticks.