That's Daf on the left, and Maisa on the right. The student in between is taking a brush away from Maisa. He of course is ever hopeful she will give it back.
This is the first time I've ever had to deal with a horse with allergies like this. This is worse than my old Lab that had flea allergies, and was allergic to dry grass. Last year my vet gave Maisa a cortisone shot. It lasted a grand total of three days. Since then I've been trying to manage his allergy to gnats with fly spray, fly sheets, spot on fly repellent, MTG, Gentocin, mink oil, a cream from Dynamite vitamins, vinegar, garlic, rabon blocks, skin so soft, swat, gnat away. That's all I can think of off the top of my head. (Good lord, I look at that list and think...whew I'm a crazy woman).
I kind of tipped over when he bloodied both of his shoulders in a twelve to twenty-four hour period. It was still winter. We had two or three days of nice weather, the gnats came out, and just tore him up. I'll see him out there, swishing and stomping, and the horses standing next to him are unaffected by the gnats. They seem to just mob poor little Maisa.
So he lives 24/7 in a flysheet with a neck cover and bellyband. The Amigo Bug Buster has worked the best, but it's pretty much destroyed. I purchased two Saxon soft mesh ones, with bellybands, and necks. That was just a couple weeks ago. He's already destroyed one...with Daf's help. I put the second new one on him last night. Daf is locked in the pen with Cat...we'll see how the sheet fairs. We may be accusing Daf unjustly. Although, day one (hour one) of the first new flysheet she bit him in the butt and put a hole in it.
Even with being covered, fly sprayed, flysheet fly sprayed, and monitored daily. He has rubbed out his tail on the right side, parts of his face, and his tummy. The tummy really kind of baffles me. It's covered for one, and there is nothing he can straddle to rub it out.
One of the really tough things is I can't really ride him. He is so distracted by the itchiness he is almost immobilized. He tries to scratch his neck on the reins. Anywhere tack touches he tries to rub up against. He's like a manic, twitchy itchy mess when under saddle. He'll come to a halt, and just sling his head down to bite his chest, legs or side. Yes, I have fly spray on him. It's like if he gets bit anywhere on his body, his whole body itches. It's not just at the site of the bite. It has to be just miserable for him. There is no way I'm going to try and force him to concentrate on going under saddle when he can't even be present due to the itchiness.
Making an appointment today for Maisa and Daf at the vets. Maisa for allergy testing, and shots, Daf for re-check on her eyes, and whatever this odd unbalanced...feels like she's going to fall down when you ride her deal.