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Fleas are tiny parasites that feed on the blood of animals like dogs and cats. These tiny pests are no larger than a pinhead, but they reproduce quickly. Typically, fleas are host-specific, which means that you do not find cat fleas on dogs and dog fleas on cats.
That brings us to the question-do horses get fleas or rather, can horses get fleas?
Yes, horses can get fleas, but it is not very common. Healthy horses can typically fight off a flea infestation. However, unhealthy horses are more susceptible to disease and parasite infestation.
Fleas are extremely well-designed to survive and can go months without feeding. Sometimes they use horses as temporary hosts before they can jump off on another animal.
Why Do Fleas Avoid Horses?
It is extremely rare for horses to get fleas. It is not because they have developed a special coat but because of the way horses live.
Adult fleas can lay several eggs every day, which falls off when the host animal moves. These eggs stay there for as much as 2 weeks before they hatch into larvae and then pupae. These pupae then return to the host animal to repeat the cycle.
If your horse is sick and mostly stays in a stable, these eggs can remain in the bedding until they hatch. However, fleas cannot survive on straw or wood chipping which are generally used as horse bedding. Fleas mostly attack animals that spend their downtime lying down on the bedding. Horses don’t and so they rarely get fleas.
How Do You Prevent Horses From Getting Fleas?
One of the easiest ways to prevent your horse from getting fleas is to use a fly spray. The fly repellent spray also repels fleas.
You must also try to find out the fleas’ source, which could be a cat or a dog on the farm. Getting rid of the fleas on the other animal could prevent your horse from getting any more fleas.
Also, healthy horses can stave off flea infestations. Hence, make sure to keep your horse healthy by feeding it a nutritious diet. You can also consider mixing supplements in your horse’s food to boost its immunity.
How Do You Get Rid Of Horse Fleas?
Horses typically don’t get fleas but if they do, there are some simple ways to get rid of them.
There are special shampoos available that effectively get rid of and prevent flea infestation in horses. You can choose the strength of the shampoo depending on the density of the horse’s coat.
Check with your Vet for medications that can help get rid of fleas. These medications can often be mixed with your horse’s food. They work by altering the body chemistry of the horse to make it less attractive to fleas.
3. Topical treatments
There are several topical treatments in the form of sprays and powders that you can apply on your horse’s coat to get rid of fleas. You may want to check with your Vet for one that is best for your horse.
A dip is a concentrated treatment that can be rubbed or sprayed on to the horse’s fur to get rid of fleas. Dips are generally no-rinse products; however, you must be careful about the strength of the product.
Do Horses Get Lice?
Yes, horses can get lice if they come in physical contact with another animal that is lice-infested. However, there are topical treatments and solutions available that can get rid of lice in horses.
Horses, like other pets, need your love, affection, and proper care. It is important to keep them clean by regularly washing them with soap and water to prevent fleas, ticks, or lice. These small pests can cause severe skin and health problems in horses.
Horses that receive proper care, wholesome diet, and vaccination can easily combat any parasite infestation.