Jump to section
Chorioptes bovis mites feed on the surface of the horse’s skin. Draft horses and horses with long feathering, on their legs are more susceptible to leg mange. The Chorioptes bovis can also be transmitted to cattle, goats and sheep.
If your horse is excessively scratching, have him seen by an equine veterinarian. Leg mange is painful and can be a very uncomfortable condition for a horse to experience. Left untreated, Chorioptes bovis mites can cause lameness, and secondary bacterial or fungal infections.
Leg mange is the most common form of mange in horses, it is a parasitic infestation caused by the Chorioptes bovis mite. Leg mange is also known as Chorioptic mange. The Chorioptes bovis mites are usually found below the hocks and knees of the infected horse.
Leg mange is caused by the parasite Chorioptes bovis mite. Chorioptes bovis can live off a host for up to three weeks. Chorioptes bovis can be transmitted by:
The veterinarian will do a close examination of your horse’s skin, paying attention to the lower legs which is where the leg mange can be found at it’s worst. She may find secondary infection present as well. Swelling and deterioration of tissue may be seen if the condition is advanced. Further diagnostic testing may include:
Skin scrape - The skin scrape is placed on a slide and examined under a microscope; the skin scrape will help identify the mites
Once leg mange is diagnosed, your horse should be quarantined away from other animals. The veterinarian may suggest clipping the horse’s feathers at the back of the legs. This will make treating the infestation much easier. When handling or caring for your horse, it is recommended that you use gloves. This will avoid the transmission of mites to other animals.
The veterinarian may recommend washing your horse with a medicated shampoo every 3-4 days. The horse will need to be pat dried. His skin may be very painful and sore, so it is important to be gentle with him. It is imperative to keep horse flies away from the sores. Horse flies can lay their eggs in the sores, which may lead to a maggot infestation.
Topical corticosteroid and antibiotic ointment, will help the skin to heal. The veterinarian may prescribe oral anti-inflammatory and antibiotics. In some cases of leg mange, the veterinarian may recommend the oral de-wormer ivermectin. Ivermectin is usually administered twice, 14 days apart.
Your horse’s stall, bedding, blankets, riding, and grooming equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Any animal that has come into contact with a horse with leg mange should be examine and treated for the condition. The pasture should be maintained and sprayed regularly with insecticides. The treatment plan usually will take 2 – 3 weeks in order to ensure that there will not be a re-infestation.
The horse will need follow-up visits to monitor his progress. The veterinarian will want to make sure the mites are gone and that your horse’s skin is healing properly. A second skin scrape will be necessary to make sure there are no more mites. Recovery from leg mange has a good prognosis for most horses.
If there was a bacterial infection, the patient will need to have another complete blood count. Patients with a secondary fungal infection will have a second skin culture done to make sure the fungus has been eliminated.
*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.
Leg Mange Average Cost
From 249 quotes ranging from $500 - $1,500
Protect yourself and your pet. Compare top pet insurance plans.
© 2021 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download the Wag! app
Download the Wag! app