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Re: [RC] sores - Diane Trefethen

Hi Janet,

They are almost certainly tick bites. I have two horses with the same symptoms that occur at this time of year and in Spring too, both active tick seasons. One of the tip offs that these are tick bites is that the fresher sores leach a sticky, yellowish substance, either mixed with a small amount of blood or not, that hardens into the scab. My two are geldings and there are usually numerous little bites on the soft skin of their sheaths and the inside of their hind legs. I suspect that mares have soft skin there too where you can find these little bites.

Not seeing any ticks is common. Just one tick can be responsible for a lot of bites. They bite, their saliva irritates the skin, they decide not to latch on and move to another location to bite, leaving behind a sore. The ticks can be very small, sometimes as little as 1/16" in diameter. You are most likely to find them under the jaw, on the chest, in the tail, in the mane/forelock, between the hind legs and crawling up your horse's legs.

Every morning and every evening I go over my boys and scratch off all the scabs. Often a "scab" turns out to be a tick. I think the saliva, even when dry, is still an irritant because when I remove the scabs, the sores heal faster than if I don't do anything. Another clue is that tick bites are often itchy and as you scratch off the scabs, your horse may show great pleasure that you are scratching an itch (s)he can't :)

Hope this is useful.

...both are out with shelter. These 2 mare suffer from sores that appear at this time of year. The sores are round with the scabs being the size smaller than a dime but the hair loss around the scab is dime size. The places where the sores appear are almost identical, under the jaw, on the chest, stifle area, on the neck.


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[RC] sores, HORSELADY9