Having a horse in SE PA comes with the fun of a lot of ticks. Deer ticks are very prevalent in this area, so it is not uncommon for at least one horse in the barn to be diagnosed with Lymes Disease every year or so. A big part of my grooming routine in Spring/Summer is going into all the little crevices to see if there are any ticks hiding on Montego. When he was boarded in Maine the ticks were never as bad because of the colder winters. About two weeks ago, I pulled my first tick off of Montego. I had felt a swollen lump under his chin with a little scab but as I looked closer I saw tiny tiny legs. Pulled it off completely and cleaned the site thinking that would be the end of it. Well about two days later, his whole under jaw started breaking out in oozy scabs. It got worse before it got better.
Every day, the scabs seemed to be oozing more and his hair started falling off as it moved down his chin. His behavior did not change so I felt no need to call the vet, just watch it and keep it clean. It took about 5 days before the scabs stopped oozing and turned into actual healing. My routine included cleaning the whole area with alcohol and then switching back and forth between Silver Sulfa Cream and Mary’s Botanicals Summer Sore Paste. Now that the scabs are completely closed, I have been applying the summer sore paste about every other day to keep the flies off and promote hair regrowth.
It’s been about two weeks now and we’re finally in the homestretch of healing. I have never had a horse react this way to ticks before. During the two weeks, his behavior never really changed to make me think I needed to get him tested for Lymes but it was a very interesting experience. Thank goodness it was on a part of him that is easily hidden!
Do any of your horses have these types of reactions to tick bites? Any suggestions to keep ticks to a minimum this season, would love to hear!