Question I have a 9 year old and a 6 year old Andalucian stallion. Both over the past three weeks have had small white( what I can only compare to as nit eggs on humans) in their tail hair. It is not in the mane and I cannot see anything on their body. It is throughout the tail and has caused quite a lot of hair loss from the bone down in the tail. Normally we have full and healthy tails. The horses live at home on straw beds with a bit of sawdust. They do have chickens next door and I have heard that some lice can cross over species. I do not want to treat them until I know what the problem is and thevets here are not that good. They have not lost any condition apart from their tails.
Answer Hi Victoria,
Thank you for your question...and I must say I'm envious of you having 2 Andalucian stallions :) It is possible for some lice to cross strains, although unusual. Brittle tail syndrome results in what you are experiencing and could be one explanation for their tail hair loss. Brittle tail syndrome causes weakening and breakage of tail hair, and banana-shaped structures perforate the hair cortex from within likely giving the appearance of a small white structure on the hair. The syndrome is caused by a newly identified fungus, Equicapillimyces hongkongensis (Wong et al, 2012), that appears to thrive in warm temperatures. There are also a host of other fungi that can cause tail loss as well as mane loss. Shapely's MTG works wonders on mane and tail fungus and can be purchased at some feed stores, tack shops or online.
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Experienced in developing and implementing feed programs for horses of all disciplines, creating custom horse supplements and managing inter-disciplinary equine facilities. Specialize in equine nutrition consulting.
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