Saturday, March 1, 2008

Of Ticks and Lice...

Today was a busy day for me and the little cowgirl. This was the nicest day we have had yet and we weren't going to waste it inside.
After feeding, cleaning pens and filling water tanks at our own place, Megan and I headed to Mom's to clean horses, trim some feet and doctor horses.
Now, I know that mom has had problems with ticks on her horses in the past, but last year is the first time we had ever seen these other little buggers show up. This year, I found several of the horses infested with these things. I mean they look like a tick, except not... I found them in January. Mom said that some of the horses had been rubbing their manes and tails, so we figured we would trim feet and worm everything. When I started putting horses in stalls and brushing them, I started pulling out these fat, white things, with no legs that you could see at first glance. Well, mom and I scratched and scraped with our fingernails, down into that thick winter hair and pulled out dozens of these things along with just as many ticks. Yuck!!! So we cleaned out what we could and dusted them with a lice/tick powder.
When I was out there a few days ago, I started working on some of the horses again and found them to be infested, again. Okay, the powder isn't going to work. I saved a couple of the nasty things and brought them in to compare with pictures on the internet(God-I love the internet!!). The closest I could figure out was that they were either Sucking Horse Lice or tick larve. Either way, anything with Permetherin in it would kill them. Called mom - "order something with Permethrin in it" and ran out to check my horses in town. Thank goodness, I only found a couple on them and none on my bred mare, because I was not going to treat her.
Today, was treatment day. It is really a simple process. Pour a line from poll to tailbone, parallel to the spine. According to the internet, we will have to dose again in 2-3 weeks because nothing kills the eggs. Nice!! But, it does give me a chance to get everyone in the stall, brush them really, really well, clean out and trim feet and give my mom that verdict that I give her every time I get my hands on one of her horses...they are TOO FAT!! And I don't mean just by 40-50lbs., I am talking 100-150lbs. too much.
Grass founder and selenium poisoning are real problems around here(huh? grass that is too good?) and obese horses are more succeptible. And with this nice weather and all the moisture we have standing around, green grass will be here very soon.
The only horse out of nine head that did not have a single tick or louse on them was my brother's 3y/o. Now, I know this colt is big, but I haven't had him in a stall since last fall. I stepped in the stall with him and OMG!!! I guarantee he is 16H. Oh crap!!! I have to break this giraffe this spring? Mom was laughing(very evilly, I might add)"sooo... how are you going to get your foot up to the stirrup?" she asks in her sweetest voice. I just scratched my head-actually I don't know. Thank god he seems to have a gentle nature. I am thinking groundwork, groundwork and more groundwork. You know...Megan has been saying she wanted to learn how to start colts....
This is VooDoo, the giraffe. Doing what VooDoo does-stickin' his nose in everybody's business.
Now I gotta go-after being around all of those little creepy, crawlies, I gotta get in the shower.


Mrs Mom said...

LOL after reading that post, it made ME want to get into the shower too! Ugh- I cant STAND creepy-crawlies..... Hope you dont have to deal with yet another infestation in a couple weeks when the eggs hatch out.

Enough to make my skin crawl!

Tracey said...

Last year I adopted a little mustang filly who was horribly infested with lice; looked like fat white fleas. Because she couldn't be handled, I use Ivermectin in her grain, but once I was able to get my hands on her I started using spot on fly repellent. Worked like a charm! Same concept you used; just pour it along the spine, then repeat in two weeks. By week three, she was free and clear.

Holly said...

ick ick ick



full body shudder

Jen said... have never come across that!! how weird.
I really enjoyed this post!! I had to LOL at the 16h thing. My hubs tells me "baby that just means either you'll have more time to think of how you're gonna land...or it's just going to hurt like hell" haha.

Rising Rainbow said...

Thankfully I have never had ticks or lice on my farm. However, I have treated them a time or two working as a groom. Just thinking about them makes me want to scratch and shower! lol