Jump to section
While mange is a common condition in horses, the most common is the chorioptic mange caused by chorioptes bovis. This type of mange lives on top of skin and feeds on the debris on your horse’s skin. Mange is most often seen on horses with feathered feet such as Clydesdales, Shires, Gypsies, Friesians, Belgians, Brabants, and the Percheron. They tend to show up in the cold seasons and spread easily with horses that live in close quarters.
Mange is a parasitic skin disorder that can affect your horse’s health in more ways than you think. In fact, if your horse gets leg mange, it can create severe pain. There are actually five types of mange in horses, which are sarcoptic mange, psoroptic mange, chorioptic mange (leg mange), demodectic mange (equine demodicosis), and straw itch mite or forage mite. The signs your horse may have mange depend on the type of mange they have, but the basic symptoms are itching, rash, and irritability. If the infestation is severe enough, your horse may have serious hair and weight loss as well. Mange is contagious, so if you have one horse with mange, it is best to treat them all. However, mange does not affect other species or humans.
The symptoms can vary, depending on which type your horse is infested with. However, the basic symptoms are the same, but the difference is where the mites have chosen to infest.
The mites can live anywhere on your horse’s body, but certain types are fond of certain areas.
Diagnosing mange is different for each type, but first your veterinarian will need to get your horse’s history including medical and shot records, abnormal behavior, and symptoms you have noticed. Be certain you mention any medications your horse is on. A complete and thorough physical examination is performed next, which includes body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, respirations, height, weight, body condition score, and reflexes. The veterinarian will have you walk, trot, and canter your horse in a circle and on a straightaway to check the muscles and joints in motion. In addition, the veterinarian will be assessing your horse’s stature, conformation, and behavior.
Afterward, a complete check of your horse’s skin and hair from head to tail is done. Samples of skin tissue scrapings will be retrieved from any areas that look suspicious. The samples will be microscopically examined to determine what kind of mange, if any, is irritating your horse. Diagnostic testing is done next, which includes blood cultures, chemical profile, complete blood count (CBC), fungal and bacterial cultures, urinalysis, and fecal examination. The last step is to get x-rays to rule out any other underlying illnesses.
The best thing to do in getting rid of the mites is to clip or shave any long hair or feathers to find all the areas where they are hiding. You will need to clean the area thoroughly with soap and warm water before applying any treatments.
There are medical shampoos that kill mites such as selenium sulphide and keratolytic shampoos. Some veterinarians will do this for you, but if you have to do it yourself, you will want to either sedate or restrain your horse before starting.
Endectocides and insecticides such as permectrin or amitraz are good choices for getting rid of most mites. Macrocyclic lactone drugs such as ivermectin and moxidectin are both sufficient but may not be as effective in getting rid of chorioptic mange. Eprinomectin, fipronil, and doramectin are good for infections of one or two horses, but not with a whole group of horses.
In most cases, mange will not be gone after the first treatment. It is common to need two or three treatments, especially if you have more than one horse with mange. Whichever treatment you choose, it will be more successful if you comb the hair and scrub to remove scales, crusts, and dead skin. Be sure to call your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.
*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.
Mange Average Cost
From 220 quotes ranging from $650 - $1,500
0 found helpful
Can the mange mites jump? I have a horse stabled next to mine who has it. The wall between the two stables is wooden at the bottom with bars above (typical monarch boxes) so whilst I know he hasn’t directly touched the other horse (nor have I), I’m concerned there is a possibility he could still be infected if they’ve got through the bars somehow. He’s showing no signs at the moment but I’d rather not wait 5 weeks to find out. Is it worth me giving him an ivermectin wormer to be on the safe side and if I do, if we’ve caught it early enough, will it definitely get rid of it?
Feb. 25, 2018
Dr. Michele K. DVM
Thank you for your email. There has to be direct contact for most mange mites to transmit to another animal. If your horse starts to show signs of infection, it would be best to test and treat him for them at that point, vs. treating him for a disease that he does not have.
Feb. 25, 2018
0 found helpful
I bought a pony that had bad dandruff, during these winter months it has gotten very bad especially in mane, tail area but some all over body as well. She has developed bald patches and those patches have become crusty looking. She is very itchy and always rubbing. My mini, who is boarded with her, is also starting to get itchy and have hair loss and light dandruff. Can I go ahead and treat for mites?
Jan. 28, 2018
Psoroptic mange commonly affects areas like the base of the tail and the maine (as well as other areas on the body), if your other pony is showing similar symptoms it would be best to discuss with your Veterinarian and then start treatment based on their recommendation. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.msdvetmanual.com/integumentary-system/mange/mange-in-horses
Jan. 29, 2018
© 2020 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download the Wag! app
Download the Wag! app