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Discuss Using Lice Powder at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

I was just curious, if you use the powder on the horses to rid them ...
  1. #1
    Full Member alley1800's Avatar
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    Using Lice Powder

    I was just curious, if you use the powder on the horses to rid them of lice...how in the world do you keep them from ingesting it? Are you supposed to make sure they cannot come in contact with each other? Unfortunately, I found lice last night on one and took him out to dust him, I figured the others had it too so checked and sure enough they do. So I have dusted them all but they are together and favorite past time lately is grooming one another since they are shedding. I brushed it in well but there is no way they will not get some in their mouths. I read the label, it says nothing about this. I would have preferred bathing but in norhtern Minnesota and it is too cold.
    One other ?....I know I will need to redo this in 2 weeks but was looking online and think I will go with the spray instead, can't stand the dust. I was wondering if it would be a problem to do the second application with something different? I was going to order some Zonk It. It says it works on lice and nits.
    Thanks all...

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    I wouldn't be too worried about ingestion. They aren't likely to get enough off of each other to cause a problem.

    As for retreating, you need to do it in 10 days rather than 2 weeks and then again 10 days after that. If you go longer between treatments you aren't going to break the life cycle. You can use anything for the followup treatments that will kill the lice....it doesn't have to be the same product.

    One other option besides sprays and powders is dosing with oral ivermectin. I've seen good results with it even on the biting lice (they have a round head rather than a pointed one). But you have to repeat with it just like you do the topicals...once every 10 days for 3 treatments.
    Cindy D.
    Licensed Veterinary Technician, TX
    Member American Assoc. of Equine Veterinary Technicians

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    The only problem with the oral ivemectin is...it only treats the biting lice. I was unsure of which type my mare had this year so she got both the wormer and the powder. She was successfully treated after 3 rounds. I also shaved her head and neck before I treated as the lice like those nice furry coats. Here is a great article on lice that I found on Thehorse.com


    Lice on Horsesby: Heather Smith ThomasFebruary 01 2005 Article # 5469
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    Horses occasionally get lice, and a horse owner needs to know what to look for and how to treat these irritating parasites. Bill Clymer, PhD, of Amarillo, Texas (now a livestock parasitologist on the professional services staff of Fort Dodge Animal Health), has worked with horses and lice for many years. Earlier in his career, he was an extension livestock specialist with Texas A&M University. We also talked to Jack Lloyd, PhD, professor of entomology at the University of Wyoming; and Sandy Gagnon, extension specialist at Montana State University, for this article.

    There are two types of lice that affect horses--sucking lice (above) and chewing lice (below)--and three species. All three live throughout the United States. The sucking lice are probably more damaging because they can create anemia due to blood loss (resulting in weakness or stunted growth in young animals), but chewing lice may be more irritating because horses have very sensitive skin.
    COURTESY DR. BILL CLYMER
    Lice occur most often in horses that are stressed, Clymer says, by inadequate nutrition, a severe winter, illness, injury, etc. "For 20-some years I had my own research company, doing research on parasites. I'd buy cheap horses that were in poor condition for various research studies, and they'd be the ones that would get heavy lice infestations. Well-fed, well-groomed horses seldom get lice," says Clymer. They seem to have more resistance.
    Lice are host-specific--cattle lice won't live on horses or vice versa, and poultry lice only live on poultry. They might crawl around for a while on another species of animal, but won't actually establish a colony, he says. Horse lice are brown and usually are found down next to the skin. They can be hard to see unless you part the hair and use a light and a magnifying glass, but if you watch for a moment, you can see them moving around.
    There are two types of lice that affect horses--sucking lice and chewing lice--and three species. The blood-sucking louse is Haematopinus asini, and two species of chewing lice are Bovicola equi and Trichodectes pilosus. All three live throughout the United States.
    "The sucking lice are probably more damaging because they can create anemia due to blood loss (resulting in weakness or stunted growth in young animals), but chewing lice may be more irritating because horses have very sensitive skin," he says. "The lice crawling around on the host cause great annoyance."
    Horses with lice look rough and unthrifty, with a scruffy hair coat, and they continually rub and scratch. They might have open sores from the rubbing. Any horse that is itching, rolling, or rubbing a lot might have lice and should be checked. By the time you see hair loss, the horse has been itching for a while. Other things that can cause itching and hair loss are mites or dry skin, so be sure to identify the cause before treating the horse.
    Horses that are on short feed rations in winter are more prone to both severe louse infestation and other diseases than horses on full feed and maintained in good body condition. "Horses with lice may be more susceptible to disease," Clymer says, "The immune response of the animal has a direct effect on lice numbers and efficacy of any control products."
    The Life Cycle
    The life cycle of lice varies with the species, with adult females laying between 20 and 40 eggs. "These hatch after a time, depending on external temperature and how close they are to the skin," says Clymer. "The closer they are to the skin, the warmer they are, and the faster they hatch. They generally hatch within two to three weeks, with 30 to 45 days from egg to egg-laying adult.
    "Chewing lice are most prevalent on the head, mane, base of the tail, and shoulder, while the sucking louse is commonly found on the head, neck, back, and the inner surface of the upper legs," he notes.
    On affected dark-colored horses, you might see the tiny, light-colored eggs on the hair. "Eggs are glued to the hair, and may still be there after the larvae hatch. If you don't look closely, you may think the horse still has a louse infestation, seeing the old eggs--even though the caps have broken off and the larvae already emerged," says Clymer. Empty egg shells stay there, glued to the hair--like an empty bot egg--until they break off or the hair comes out.
    Many species of chewing lice have a unique life cycle. Nine out of 10 lice that hatch are reproductive females. The males don't have to fertilize the females for them to lay fertile eggs, says Clymer. "If you have one animal that gets one egg on it, and it hatches, nine out of 10 chances it would be a female. If she lays 40 eggs and 60% of those eggs hatch and nine out of 10 of those are females, in five generations you could have 300,000 lice (plus or minus) from that one female louse."
    Transmission
    Lice are readily passed from one horse to another by physical contact, especially if those horses are confined together. "They (lice) can also be spread by brushes and equipment used on more than one horse, or in a horse trailer. In a trailer where horses are in close quarters, touching horse-to-horse may spread lice, or a louse may get off on a side panel and onto the next horse," says Clymer. "Horses put into stocks, stalls, or any other place where another horse was recently confined may pick them up."
    Sharing brushes is not a good idea; nits (louse eggs) or lice from one horse might have come off in the brush and be ready to brush onto the next horse. Depending on climatic conditions, lice can live for a few days off the host, just waiting for a new host, he says.
    "Horses are gregarious; there are lots of opportunities for contamination," Clymer adds. "Horses grooming one another in the pasture or over the fence, or standing next to one another swatting flies, may pass lice around. Lice don't spontaneously appear with the first cold rain in fall and disappear with warm weather in spring. There are a few carrier animals that have lice year-round because their immune systems are such that lice can thrive. These horses serve as a source (of lice) for other horses."
    If lice suddenly show up on your horse and you wonder how he got them, think back to where the horse has been. You might have gone to a show, borrowed a horse trailer, or taken the horse to the vet or some other place where a louse-infested horse had recently been.
    Winter
    Lice populations increase in winter, partly because horses could be stressed more in winter, and partly because they have a longer hair coat then. "There is a direct relationship between hair length and lice populations. Hair protects lice from the horse licking and trying to bite them off. We can put animals in a stanchion where they can't groom themselves and can get as heavy a lice population in summer as we do in winter. The longer hair gives a lot of protection from the rubbing, licking, and biting," notes Clymer.
    Lice hang onto the base of the hair as they feed and are only found in hairy areas of the horse. Wherever hair is missing (from being rubbed out) the lice quit biting and leave. Also, if you ride a lice-infested horse in winter and he becomes warm and sweaty, the lice come out to the ends of the hair and are easy to see.
    Treatment
    Lice are not common on horses, and are fairly easy to control. There are numerous products available for louse control, including sprays, dusts, and wipe-ons. Horses dewormed regularly with one of the macrocyclic lactones (Quest, Quest Plus, ComboCare, Zimecterin, Rotation 1, Ivercare, etc.) might have less lice problems than untreated horses. Chewing lice are less affected, however, because they feed on skin and dander rather than blood.
    Insecticide sprays (emulsifiable concentrates or wettable powders) are available for use on horses, but many horses don't like to be sprayed--especially with a high-pressure spray. You must accomplish complete wetting of the skin. If a horse protests, or weather is cold, you can use a dust to avoid wetting the whole horse. A brisk and thorough brushing of insecticide into the hair coat will work; it must get down to the base of the hairs and come into contact with the skin. Horses should be retreated in about two weeks to kill young lice that have just hatched and were not affected by the first treatment. Pyrethroid insecticides might control lice with just one treatment.
    Always read and follow the label directions on any product. For advice on specific products to use on horses, consult your veterinarian.
    Saddle blankets, brushes, and other equipment used on lice-infested horses should be treated with very hot water or rubbed with an insecticide solution. Bedding from a stall that housed an infested horse should be removed. The stall can be disinfected (or not used for awhile) to get rid of lice the horse left behind. If one horse in a group gets lice, they are all exposed and should all be treated. Otherwise they will keep passing the lice around.
    Prevention
    Keeping horses well-fed, not stressed, and healthy in a clean environment is good prevention against lice, along with regular brushing and grooming. "If you are continually grooming the horse, you will probably scrape some of those lice off if a horse gets them. If horses get bathed periodically, this will also disrupt lice," Clymer says. Horses should be carefully inspected at purchase before your bring them home. If they have lice, they should be treated before being introduced into your herd, says Clymer. Horses are often transported across the country for shows, breeding, etc., so there are a lot of opportunities to come into contact with other horses. They should be routinely inspected for lice, especially during winter months and particularly if they are kept in close confinement with other horses, he says. There are two types of lice that affect horses--sucking lice and chewing lice--and three species. All three live throughout the United States. The sucking lice are probably more damaging because they can create anemia due to blood loss (resulting in weakness or stunted growth in young animals), but chewing lice may be more irritating because horses have very sensitive skin.
    Annie voted HGS FOAL OF THE YEAR '08
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  4. #4
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    The oral ivermectin can successfully treat the biting lice also. There is more chance of it not being completely successful due to the life style of the louse, but in most cases it does work.

    I've even treated my own senior citizen POA with it successfully after identifying the louse.
    Cindy D.
    Licensed Veterinary Technician, TX
    Member American Assoc. of Equine Veterinary Technicians

  5. #5
    Senior Member kristyl's Avatar
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    I tried treating my horse with Eqvalan (ivermectin) orally without success (3 treatments). He had the biting lice. I then treated him with dri-kill twice (12 days apart) and we are hoping that did the trick. So far we haven't found any live lice so hopefully he is lice free now.
    Like the others said I don't think it will matter much if you use a different product for the second treatment.
    Good Luck!

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    Full Member alley1800's Avatar
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    Thanks all. I did the Ivermectin already, it was time anyway for everyone. I went ahead and ordered the Zonk It and will do that within the 10 days, not sure why I typed two weeks when I had it marked on calendar for 10 days. I checked everyone today, no live ones that I could see but I did find nits on one of the young ones. I didn't do any grooming today yet, wasn't sure if I should leave since I dusted yesterday. Thanks for article too, that is where I orginally went to see which type of lice they were and it was very informative. Hopefully this will work, first time we have had the problem and I seriously think it was the mini donkey! The little guy who seems to be the most infected was very buddy with her.
    So should I do the oral Ivermectin again in 10 days too as extra precaution or just do the spray this time? BTW, it is for sure the biting/chewing lice.
    Again thanks!

  7. #7
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    My vet made me up some really strong stuff. I sprayed it on every other day and had to brush it in good. Then groom them to get the dead ones off. It worked great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alley1800 View Post
    Thanks all. I did the Ivermectin already, it was time anyway for everyone. I went ahead and ordered the Zonk It and will do that within the 10 days, not sure why I typed two weeks when I had it marked on calendar for 10 days. I checked everyone today, no live ones that I could see but I did find nits on one of the young ones. I didn't do any grooming today yet, wasn't sure if I should leave since I dusted yesterday. Thanks for article too, that is where I orginally went to see which type of lice they were and it was very informative. Hopefully this will work, first time we have had the problem and I seriously think it was the mini donkey! The little guy who seems to be the most infected was very buddy with her.
    So should I do the oral Ivermectin again in 10 days too as extra precaution or just do the spray this time? BTW, it is for sure the biting/chewing lice.
    Again thanks!
    I went ahead and did the oral Ivermectin 10 days apart even though I was pretty sure they weren't the biting lice. I didn't want them critters hanging around anymore than necessary.
    Annie voted HGS FOAL OF THE YEAR '08
    Mom what are those big black CD's you have? OH you mean my RECORDS?

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