Autumn & Winter Worries
really in trouble this year so maybe checking horses, other
large animals and domestic pets thoroughly twice weekly for
treatments will help keep on top of those bites, lumps and
ticks. If you're fungal / bacterial problems are already
causing problems then unless treated vigorously they will
become worse with heavy dews, rain and general humidity. If
you don't have these problems now then a twice weekly
application with EquITCH Salve or Spray/Wipe-On will keep
that the feed problems aren't the only concern this year.
It has been tough with all the rain and would suspect that for
a lot of animals they didn't have the body condition that they
needed going into autumn and winter. Combined with
weight loss and weather making it almost impossible for some
owners to remove rugs we are unsuspecting of some of the
problems that lurk thereunder. Rugs can start off
fitting perfectly and very comfortably but it doesn't take a
huge amount of weight loss to start causing seam lines on neck
area to end up resting on withers - very uncomfortable and big
problems can occur. Fistulaes on the wither can be very
difficult to deal with. If you're able to pad up seams
that are likely to rub with real woolly sheepskin it can be an
enormous help in prevention. Making the rug fit more
snugly by punching extra holes in chest fittings & straps
which raise the seam line more onto the neck will also help
although this needs to not cause the animal restriction near
the windpipe. Sores and galls can cause major riding
problems - be good, take care of them.
Uncertain Spring & Summer Seasons
that we no sooner have the sun & wind around to mop up some of
the soggy paddocks than we're having another downpour or six.
Of course, if it was only that issue which our outdoor animals
had to cope with then it would be great but it isn't.
explosion" causes an enormous amount of discomfort for animals
and people alike - animals need to be treated and protected
from the damage insects cause and people are in a management
struggle to keep coping with the routine. How do
you win ?
In lots of
instances on the coast, the intensity of biting insects is
worse in the daytime. Poor immunity to the bites can
result in major "damage control" responses with intense
self-mutilation as the results. A dark, cool
stable/kennel can be the answer for daytimes with treatments,
rugging and release into paddocks at night time for horses.
This may reduce the intensity of insect bites helping your
animals' comfort levels.
stable/kennel has an iron roof then a 90% shade cloth tied
over the top can reduce the daytime heat. A good through
flow of air is important as it helps reduce the congregation
of mozzies who love still air. Spraying the inside
walls with lime sulphur diluted in water or a cheap
surface spray early in the mornings is a great deterrent
is also a product known as BTI which is doing great things to
reduce mosquitoes in Brisbane and you could go to this website
to learn more:-
Call Centre on 07-3403 8888.
them cool and comfortable.
Can it be
happening ?? Here on the mid north coast of N.S.W.
spring seems to be emerging in a pretty peculiar way.
Despite the rain, wind and some cold nights a paralysis tick
was happily treating itself to an early feed on my pony.
It really is a case of prevention being better than a cure
when it comes down to the new foals. Be careful to check
them and cut the tick body off the youngster or it could spell
trouble. If you can do any treatments for prevention
early in the day too then they will have a chance to dry
off in (hopefully) a nice warm sunny spot before nightfall.
Stay vigilant - it really pays off !
rain and cold
pretty mixed up climatic time right now. More rain with
intermittent really cold nights and the windy season has
already begun. The amount of lost condition an animal
sustains, living without protection or feed supplements, can
be enormous. For older, weaker and sickly animals
it can spell the end. What a terrible way to die.
Those that don't succumb can sustain organ damage which
creates major health problems. The naturally grown
winter woollies are not enough protection in such climatic
chaos. People sometimes also do not recognize that not
all plants in the paddocks are food sources. The flooded
grasses with animal droppings contribute contamination to
pasture which is already sour and unpalatable. To the
new, or uneducated owner, animals can be starving when feed
looks abundant . Mature grasses such as whisky,
and carpet with their abundant seed heads are wiry,
lacking in nutrition and are just plain tough and inedible to
horses. Blady grass is just plain useless in any form.
Animals then try to find feed underneath these grasses which
is not bountiful as winter is not the growing season.
The animals do it really tough and we need to see the reality
of their plight.
animals have already been through an horrendously insect prone
spring, summer & autumn swishing, stamping, rubbing and biting
themselves 24/7 they've hardly had time for peace and
sometimes not even being able to sustain their normal body
weight then, let alone for the winter punishment ahead.
Some poor animals work so very hard to gain some feed in
the paddock that they begin digging for roots to eat to try to
survive which ultimately causes not only worn down teeth but
gastric problems which sometimes cannot be cured.
Exposure to the elements hardly allows for them to have any
measure of comfort. Ignorance, unfortunately, does
not help anyone or solve problems. Learning to recognize
the hardships of animals, being prepared to effect changes
that are meaningful are really the only answers that matter.
our best today to improve the animals' lives and it will keep
us "soft hearted", unselfish and balanced.
How To Remove Salve Build-up From Rugs
you still needing to apply salve to your animal but also need to use
your winter rugs ? Sometimes the salve is used as prevention to
habitual rubbing and can start to cake on the woolly lining,
particularly on the neck. You may not have had time to clean the
rug up from last year or perhaps your new to using the product and tend
to apply it quite thickly. Whatever the reason, to remove build
up, just take an ice cube, or even something like frozen peas, wrap
them in plastic and rub for a few minutes over the affected area on
your rug. This will solidify the salve and you can then bend and
rub the material so that it cracks off - the bonus of course is that
you don't wet or need to wash the rug which is difficult in winter
Looking After Your Salve Throughout The Colder Months
EquITCH & Itch NO-More salves require an ambient temperature during colder months to
help keep them soft and easy to handle. Keeping them in polystyrene foam containers can
help as can leaving in a warm spot during the day if you will be
working with the product in the late afternoon. It is always good
to thoroughly stir / mix up the salves until you can dip your
fingers in and the products stick readily to the tips. Sometimes
decanting into a smaller container can help with the processes.
LET THE HORSES DO THE TALKING
Are you experiencing
some behavioural / resistance problems riding your steed You need to read this
yesterday- all 178 pages of feedback http://www.bitlessbridle.com/Comments06toNow.pdf
Are Your Animals Still Itchy ?
you have animals which are still continuing to itch but not all the
time? There could be a couple of causes. Animals may still
be shedding their summer coats and sprouting their winter
seasons have been erratic all over the country and continue to be
so . It becomes difficult to identify exactly what the cause of
itchiness is. Grooming is a great way of relieving the discomfort and
feeling what is happening with the skin. Are there patches
of hair falling out leaving completely bald spots. Is your animal
trying to go under the rug / coat to chew itself? Is the
condition worse when there is a hot spell or when the animal is
generally feeling hot during or after exercise? What
about scabbing? Are there pin prick size scabs and a red rash on
the stomach (small animals). And that flaky, dandruff type skin, is it
moist or very dry - is there something that you have done with
the animal recently which could have caused it ?
It pays to be vigilant - the answers to the above will
present information to help you to identify what type of skin condition
you are dealing with.
Answers to the above are also important to decide whether you should be
using our Mite Itch NO-More (spray / wipe-on), Itch NO-More (salve) -
both for small animals - or EquITCH salve &
spray / wipe-on for large animals. Thicker, longer coats may make
application with salve more time consuming so perhaps the
liquid would be a better solution. Or maybe the skin condition
and hair has recovered by using the salve but you'd like to maintain
the comfort for your animal and need to switch to the
Fortunately, our products are not shampoos or washes, so you can
happily just go ahead and start treating without the risk of your
animal catching a chill or pneumonia. They're labour saving too,
so you're not spending hours out in the dark, cold and wet when there
are still feeds to prepare and things to manage. Make life easier
for happy wintering.
What To Do for Greasy Heel & Rainscald whilst Waiting for Your Products
your horse is in trouble and lame - you've already ordered your EquITCH
products but don't know what to do in the meantime. Obtain a
cheap 250gm jar of cream (sorbolene, vit E cream etc - NOT Vaseline) and a
couple of tubes of "White Zinc Cream" (navy and white tube from
chemists). Preferably at night time, smear on cream liberally and leave
to soak in. In the morning before sun becomes hot, smear on a
good cover of zinc cream and let the horse roam as it wants.
This will also help to repel rain. Repeat until you can start treatment with EquITCH products. It is
tempting to want to wash and pick off scabs because they cosmetically are repulsive but it can cause major
problems, so good idea to resist.
It is good practice when you receive your products to not
over-treat by applying EquITCH products more than once a day as the
EquITCH Spray / Wipe-On is designed to cure the fungal environment
which creates rotting of the flesh and the greasy scabbing.
Applying products more often than required can increase drying effects
and lead to cracking which may lead to lameness. It is vitally
important to ensure that the scabs be kept as soft as possible to
Here we are
again and it's almost Summer and not that many weeks from
Christmas. Our weather conditions throughout are erratic to say
the least. Most of us are so time poor that we probably
aren't even thinking about doing a thorough check on our equines,
although at this time of the year it really is necessary if you live
anywhere east of the great dividing range. Yes, ticks are raging
all down the coastline from northern tip of Queensland to well below
Sydney. It is hell for our outdoor animals suffering all manner
of complaints with itch caused by the midge, biting flies, mozzies and
then ticks with the possibility of fevers. It makes rainscald,
greasy heel, mud fever and fungal infections seem mild in
comparison - of course, we know that the latter complaints can also
render animals extremely lame and cause extreme pain and swelling
ears, under jawlines, under "armpits", between thighs and down
tailbones is essential to keep animals free from the "unwellness" of
toxic shock from tick bites and, in small and young animals, even
death. You will be horror struck at the scabby sores and lumps
the animals have in the worst kind of places. If you have some of
our queensland itch and fungal problem products then use them, sooner
rather than later - your animals will thank you for it. If it
were us involved we'd be screaming like banshees with the unrelenting
discomfort. Is it any wonder that many poor animals just drop
condition and go into depression.
dangerous weather pattern of lovely rain and then blistering sun shine
is a great recipe for insect explosion - this, of course, includes all
the other stinging and biting nasties, just to make life more
challenging. Our animals really can't look after themselves - we
have them contained and, am sure if we didn't, their choice would be to
live far, far away from the coastline because it's just pure hell
during the warm seasons in the sub/tropics. It's easy to be
caught up in other things or be rushed into not wanting to listen to
our conscience but we need to keep "soft hearted" and do the right
thing. If you were the animals and not the owners wouldn't you
want someone to care about you ? Try to love 'em right.
Spring has sprung
We are only
just into Spring but, during Winter, the ticks - yes paralysis ones too
- in our area (mid north coast NSW) exploded after the last rain fall
about 4 weeks ago. This year looks like it is going to be a hot
and insect prone problem for all. It isn't only the ticks coming
out, the March flies are in there too already causing sores and the
animals haven't even shed their old winter coats yet. It is wise
to be vigilant about what is happening because the 'critters' are
getting under horse rugs, so we all really need to be doing thorough
checks and treating to rid ticks and patch up the damaged skin.
It's still very cold at night which can take condition off animals if
they are deprived of their warm rugs too soon. Oil in the diet,
if it isn't already incorporated as some as part of their rations can
help to warm them up and help with dry skin problems too.
Time to take them off the molasses though otherwise the biting
critters will just think they are delicious and by the time the next
rainfall comes they will be out in droves. Good luck and keep
your animals comfortable.
Start Now With Supplements To
Fortify Immune System Against Itchiness
may seem not to be the right time, such a long way to go before Spring,
it is now that the effort needs to be made to strengthen your
animals' immune system. This will reduce the "damage control"
response your animal has to the biting insects which set off allergic
reactions - itching, rubbing, biting and chewing through their flesh to
gain some relief. Raw (feed grade) Linseed Oil (administered at
175ml per day (for 15hh horse) or 1 tablespoon per day for a Labrador
size dog) in the the main meal can work wonders providing sufficient
time is allowed for it to work. Usually anything from 6 weeks to
3 months is normal. You need to keep your animals on it
indefinitely. The added bonus is that it's just great to improve
the quality of skin and hair and helps reduce problems with
eczema. Just a warning though. Not all itchiness is
due to an allergical reaction. Sometimes, and particularly with
dogs, guinea pigs etc., the itchiness is caused by a mite infestations
and you will need to cure this problem to solve your animals
itchy skin diseases. Sometimes just seasonal moulting can start
off some itching - a good brush can do wonders too.
Keeping Them Warm & Comfortable
hard time of the year it can be difficult keeping condition on animals
let alone trying to keep them looking like we knew them in
summer. No matter your animal / pet it is a good time to worm and
arrange for some extra warmth, right now, particularly at
night. It is a good time to provide a good warm rug and in
very wet conditions a shelter is handy too. Depending on where
you're living will dictate how cold it becomes during the day and
whether the rug should be removed. A lot of energy is expended
trying to maintain bodily functions. Combined with shortage of
feed in paddocks and limits to budgets, the current high costs of feeds
can make for an exceptionally tough time of the year for owners &
animals alike. The saying goes "a rug is as good as a feed" - not
meaning that if you rug then you don't feed but rather that your animal
is more likely to keep on its condition and cope with winter
hardships. Riding your horse early in the day and rubbing down so
it has time to dry off properly before the icy nights will reduce
chills and colds making for less problems.
need more attention at this time of the year. Their teeth may
also need rasping to cope with harder feeding. Sometimes making
pellets into a mash by adding warm water and allowing to soak can help
make eating and digestion easier reducing the chances of colic. A
good handful of salt added can also be beneficial as it will help them
take up extra water for digestion and hydration. The less energy
expended the more condition will be kept on - its much like a bank
account. If you keep drawing out and not putting in then pretty
soon the balance is very low - your animal has lost significant body
weight and things can go very wrong, particularly if you're riding the
animal. Where competition for feed is strong, if possible move
horses into separate holding pens at meal times or paddocks to reduce
accidents caused by fighting - it can significantly reduce your
vet bills. Your loving kindness will pay dividends.
Click to see
The Autumn Moult (hair shedding)
are well on their way to shedding their summer coats for winter
woollies and for those already itchy characters can mean a continuation
of their uncomfortable plight. Dogs, cats and horses need
special attention to relieve themselves.
have a tendency to develop fur balls and may need oil added to their
feeds to help cope with this type of problem whilst dogs and horses
need grooming a couple of times a week at least to help remove their
before winter is also another way to ensure comfort and that the
animals obtain maximum nutrition from their feed during a tough time of
the year particularly for those that graze whilst a nice warm rug
at night will help to maintain body condition.
Reduce Itching & Self Mutilation
To help with
itchiness ensure that you check and treat under the jawline between
branches of jaw bones, inside ears, through the forelock and
poll, between the upper thighs, down the tail bone and around
navel / sheath / udder. Rugging can only do so much.
you may be surprised at what you find - lumps, scabs and swellings
which indicate insect attack and all contributing to your animal's
discomfort and continual itching.
Greasy Heel Lameness
after treating greasy heel a few times with only the EquITCH
Spray/Wipe-On your horse may become lame. Drying out of the scabs
can sometimes cause cracking of the skin under scabs especially where
they are very thick & crusty. The treatment needs to include
an application of EquITCH Salve, with preferably zinc as a final
coat to prevent photo-sensitivity and to help soften scabs.
If the scabs
are detaching naturally then a good long soak in warm soapy water
(natural soap) followed by gentle washing will soften the scabs and in
most instances help remove most of them. Don't try to force scabs
off !! Gently dry part with towel,
air dry then apply EquITCH Salve followed by white zinc cream.
Using a clean paint brush is the gentlest applicator if used in a
If you find
that your salve (cream) is liquifying because of the heat, applying it
with a sponge can help. You don't need to throw the sponge away
after each use. Just pop it in a re-sealable plastic bag and keep
for next time. Sponges can also be kept in a container in an old
beer fridge and provide a more refreshing application for those really
hot days. You can even pre-soak sponges in salve and be prepared for a
quick but cool start to your treatment routine.
noticed the grass seeds beginning to appear in your paddocks? Be
alert for runny eyes caused by seeds and those rotten little black
flies that carry eye infections from horse to horse. Using a mesh
fly mask instead of fly veils not only protects from flies but also
prevents grass seeds from causing problems and the time and labour
issues involved with curing them.
Is your horse/pony continuing to scratch it's mane & tail out
no matter what you're doing to try and help relieve the problem -
then it may be a worm problem? Yes! You've already been
worming on a regular basis. However, this could still be a
contributing factor. This may help.
- Use a
of wormer as it
eliminates tape worms and "cutaneous onchocerciasis" (a worm that
dwells in the neck area) and ensure you use the amount for about 50kg
more than your horse's actual weight (assuming you're worming a 15.2hh
animal that would probably be a 10% increase).
- 21 days
later (on that day and no later) repeat the worming.
that you examine the droppings between 24 & 48 hours after worming
to identify which worms were prevalent and to gauge the effectiveness
of your worming. You
may be very surprised at what you find!
Temporary Relief for Itching - 27 NOV & 04DEC08
- If you're
struggling trying to keep your animal comfortable and you haven't
received your EquITCH or MITE/Itch NO-More products from us and the
itching and self-mutilation is driving you nuts then a good long
shampoo with a selenium
sulphide (1% or 2% strength)
based anti-dandruff product can help in the short-term. (Be
really careful around the head area and use a baby tearless shampoo for
that part). After lathering up the body well, leave the suds on
for 5-10 minutes and then rinse off well, towel dry. This is not
a long-term solution or cure for your animal skin problem s but it may
help you for a day or so until you receive your order.
Week 5 & 6 - 18 NOV 08
LET THE HORSES DO THE TALKING -
Bitless Bridle Research
Dr. Cook’s demonstration
with the above title at the annual
conference of the Certified Horsemanship
Association at the Kentucky Horse Park in October 2008 was well
received. It provides a guide for the future evolution of
horsemanship in all disciplines