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Itchy Shetland Pony

(17 Posts)
AnnaFiveTowns Sun 14-Dec-14 08:57:53

We have recently loaned a Shetland Pony to keep my daughter's new pony company. We've loaned her from someone who is essentially a dealer and I suspect she came from the local horse auction and so hasn't been well loved and cared for. She was obese when she arrived, though we've managed to slim her down a bit. When she first came (end of October) she kept pushing herself into the hedge to scratch her back. She also had large, flaky chunks of dandruff at the base of her mane. I've managed to brush most of this away now. I've checked for lice/fleas and can't see anything. There are no visible patches of anything on her skin but she does keep rubbing herself against things to scratch. I had thought it was sweet itch but I've been told it's too late in the season for this. When I asked in the saddlery they told me to bathe her and I bought some generic "kills everything" type soap - but I'm reluctant to do this as it's bloody freezing! And I'm not convinced it would help the problem either. Any ideas as to what this could be?

Bonkey Sun 14-Dec-14 18:05:32

Has she been wormed?

Don't bathe in this weather whatever you do! Its hard enough to dry a shetty in summer let alone with a thick coat in the middle of winetr!

I would de louse whether you can see them or not as a start- not just her - do the whole yard. Chances are if it is then just doing her will be pointless as they will have passed on fairly easily.

It also could be something as simple as just a uber thick coat. My shetty loves a good scratch where he gets hot. He has only just stopped sweating because we have finally got some colder weather and he is clipped!

BaldricksWife Mon 15-Dec-14 09:49:18

For de lousing use Coopers Fly Repellent- only thing that seems to work since they took DEET out of the flea stuff.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 15-Dec-14 12:17:39

you could try this, it is really good

AnnaFiveTowns Mon 15-Dec-14 22:50:12

Thanks for all your replies.

I'm starting to wonder whether it's mange as she now has a bald patch at the top of her back leg. Bloody hell! I've read that it's quite rare in horses but less so in horses that have been kept in large herds and I know that whilst she was with the dealer ( who's pretty unscrupulous!) she had contact with lots of other horses bought at auction.

Anyone familiar with equine mange at all?!

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 16-Dec-14 09:03:04

if she had sarcoptic mange she would be itching like crazy.
A dose of ivermectin would get rid of it AFAIK.
Quite common at sales I think

AnnaFiveTowns Tue 16-Dec-14 11:38:15

Sunny, she is scratching like mad! She spends half her day rubbing against trees and hedges. My husband (ex dairy/sheep farmer) advised me to get Ivermectin to inject just under the skin. It's what he used for his sheep and cattle but it's not actually licensed for horses to treat mange, although I believe vets do use it.

I can't leave her any longer - poor little thing!

Long term I don't know what to do with her. She's basically a rescue pony and I know if I send her back to the dealer (after treating her for mange) that she'll just be sold on to any old body - possibly back at the sale room. On the other hand I suspect if I buy her from the dealer ( who wants 400 quid for her!!) then I'll be forking out for one vet 's bill after another. I clearly hadn't thought this loaning business through. How did I possibly think that I could care for someone else's pony and not get attached and feel responsible for it?! Especially as I know this person does not give a stuff about this pony's welfare.

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 16-Dec-14 11:43:51

Anna could you ask your husband to help then?
Would an oral dose of ivermectin help?
I know it cured me when I had scabies which is essentially the same thing.

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 16-Dec-14 11:55:19

good link

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 16-Dec-14 11:56:25

oh and the dealer is having a laugh if he wants 400 quid for a shetland pony, round here people are literally giving ponies away.

AnnaFiveTowns Tue 16-Dec-14 17:58:31

Oh Sunny, I know she's having a laugh. She's probably paid a tenner for it at the sale. The trouble is that she's a lovely, sweet natured little thing and I feel quite protective of her now and so it's almost like ransom money. I either pay it or she gets sold off to God knows where!

AnnaFiveTowns Tue 16-Dec-14 18:00:11

We've given her some Ivermectin tonight so I'm hoping that'll do the trick. I'll need to do my daughter's pony now though, just in case she's infected her.

Stillyummy Sun 11-Jan-15 20:15:00

Did it work?

SaggyAndLucy Fri 16-Jan-15 22:31:35

I have a traditional Shetland. she is a great big bag of itch!
She gets terribly flaky along her mane, it's worse when she moults.
I would recommend
a/ De lousing. It's always worth it, especially if there's thinning hair.
b/ consider getting her a thin rain mac and a part clip. My impression is that my girl gets worse when it's wet and mild. Shetlands have a thick double layer coat which I think is a bit much unless it's very cold and probably makes them a bit sweaty! And she really looks happy when she gets her coat on.
c/ Codlivine. its a great reasonably priced supplement which does wonders for my girls skin and coat.
And don't send her back. If she's as sweet as you say, and she's good with the kids, she's worth a few bob in the long term. In sales terms right now they are dirt cheap, but a sweet Shetland is worth its weight in gold really!
Other than that, I'd say, don't treat her like a toy, she's a very small draught horse. give her plenty to do and NO treats. They're ruinous for a Shetlands temperament.
And if she lives out, DONT FEED HER!
well as little as possible. Mine are out 24/7, get no hard feed and no hay. If there is thick snow they get straw on the floor. You want her to be light come the spring. Not skinny, but with definite room for expansion when the grass hits. I've never had a case of laminitis and I put it down to this.
And enjoy her. Shetlands ROCK! :-)

AnnaFiveTowns Sat 17-Jan-15 08:39:57

Thanks for your posts. Just to update - the ivomectin has been amazing. Just before we dosed her, she started to lose a few patches of her coat, it definitely looked like mange. But within week and a half of the Ivormectin jab she stopped itching completely. I watch her when I turn her out to the field and instead of heading straight to the hedge for a good old scratch, she just starts to graze. I haven't seen her scratching at all since and I'm always checking on her. Scratching was practically all she did before the jab. It's must be such a relief for her to be itch free!

AnnaFiveTowns Sat 17-Jan-15 08:44:05

Oh, and don't worry Saggy, we've bought her now. Yes, 350 was a lot for an obese, mange infested, insecure Shetland - but we fell in love with her and we're going to make sure she's cared for properly for the rest of her life.

SaggyAndLucy Sat 17-Jan-15 15:45:34

I'm so glad! its amazing the difference a De lousing makes!
I know 350 is a lot, but when you've turned her into a gorgeous, patient, lovely pony, she will be worth more than money. I would never sell mine. not for any price. she's going to stay with my friend for a while right now but she will always be ours! :-)

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