|And she only just grew her mane back to a reasonable length. Pic is from last week I think - I need new ones, her summer coat is coming in and she's a super dark shiny bay at the moment. So pretty|
(As a side note, when I explained to G that Ginger has sweet itch and is allergic to midges he thought I meant The Midge aka Bridget and was thoroughly confused for a day or two before he asked me to clarify lol)
|Don't worry Ginger, it's the other midges that you're allergic to.|
I know in the past people have been interested in what exactly we're doing to manage her sweet itch. Last year was the first year it was really bad and not kept mostly in check with fly spray along with some Swat on her midline and around her udder. She did alright until the fall, when we got a bit caught out when the bugs got bad for a week or so and I was away. I really think the trick with sweet itch is to be proactive and keep a handle on it. If you fall behind and your horse has a bad day or two and itches themselves silly, the whole situation seems to blow up and nothing helps anymore -- the next thing you know your horse has raw spots and sections of mane missing. Ask me how I know.
I consulted with the vet last fall, so this year, we do have the vet ready to prescribe a steroid injection should things get out of hand again. For now though, with his blessing, we're doing the 'wait and see' approach. Here's our normal line up of preventative products:
Management wise, we leave her in later in the morning and bring her in before the bugs get bad in the evening. I opt not to use a fly sheet, since she really gets bothered under her belly/between her hind legs where a sheet can't protect. The barn owners are awesome and did some further drainage work last fall in hopes of there being less standing water this spring to attract the bugs. A nice gesture, but our climate is a tough one. The upcoming 200 mm of rain over the next 3 days will probably overwhelm even the best drainage!
Since I am at the barn every day grooming and visiting anyways, it's not a huge deal for me to apply these products as needed. If I was busier or Ginger had a bigger issue, I'd be going with the vet injections or prescription antihistamines for sure (and I still will if I feel my prevention measures aren't working). We'll see how we fare this summer, here's hoping we keep it under control and pony has a mane left next fall.