Lice - McDowell's Herbal Treatments


Two species of lice can infest horses, causing skin irritation, severe scratching and loss of condition. Incidence peaks in late winter and spring, recurring annually once lice become established in a stable or paddock.

Long winter coats and lack of grooming and rugging make ideal breeding conditions for lice.

Lice are spread via other infested horses, rugs, grooming gear, harness, or rubbing on trees, rails etc. where winter haircoat containing lice or eggs has been deposited. Lice can only live off the horse's body for a few days. Horses in poor condition are more susceptible to the effects of lice.

My recommended treatment of lice:-

  • Thoroughly wash horse with an insecticidal product such as advised by your vet .
  • Look at your drenching history . Usually only drench at beginning of Autumn & Spring. Any more than this creates an immunity deficiency making your horse more susceptible to parasites.
  • Do not use pour-on lousicides formulated for cattle or sheep on horses, as severe skin reaction and hair loss my result
    Repeat Wash treatment in 7 - 10 days to break the lifecycle Treat grooming gear, harness and rugs at the same time Avoid using contaminated equipment or rugs for 14 days, as lice can only survive off a horse for a few days Wash rugs and hang inside out over a fence in sunlight for 10 - 14 days If possible where paddocked horses are infested, shift them out of the infected paddock for 14 days to starve active lice on trees and rails.

    Boost the immune system with the following Herbal remedies & tonics;
    Herbal Blood Cleanser

    Molasses & Garlic, Rosehip, Chamomile, Crushed Millet & Linseed;

    Chamomile tea a great calminative for the Intestinal tract & especially in allergy based reactions;

    Rosehips tea to boost immunity,circulation & provide minerals, Iron & Vitamin C, a great tonic for the Kidneys, Adrenals & Liver:

    You can place the teas in the same 1 litre of water halve & use to wet down morning & afternoon feeds. 1 cup of Crushed White millet & linseed mixed dry or made into a porridge & halved feed am & pm.To repair tissue damage & promote healthy skin.

    Have a question? Contact McDowell's Herbal Treatments

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    02 6331 3937
    +61 2 6331 3937(Int)


    McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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