Tick Control In Horses: What You Need to Know

Taking your horse out for walks and rides and allowing them time to roam around your pasture is an essential aspect of horse care. Unfortunately, this time spent exploring outdoors leaves your horse vulnerable to a few additional health risks—and ticks are one of the worst!

In order to ensure you horse lives a long and happy life, it’s important to educate yourself on the best methods of tick prevention and care. Use the information below to equip yourself with the tools and knowledge you need to protect your horse from these nasty pests!

How Does A Horse Get Ticks?

Ticks are found all over the United States. They live in areas with heavy woodlands, long grasses and bushes, and temperatures that get warm and humid. A tick will attach to a horse as it walks by, attracted by their sweat, movement, and the ammonia in their breath. They’re most often found on a horse’s chest, ear canal, nasal passages, underbelly, mane, tail, and anal area.

How Can I Tell If My Horse Has A Tick?

You should be checking your horse for ticks regularly, so if one has attached itself there’s a good chance you’ll feel or see it. It’s also important to be on the lookout for symptoms of a reaction or tick-borne illness, including:

  • Unwell appearance
  • Falling or wobbly legs
  • Labored breathing
  • Weakness/fatigue
  • Irritation
  • Poor appetite

How Do I Remove A Tick From My Horse?

As soon as you find a tick on your horse, you should remove it right away. Use tweezers or a “tick key” to gently grasp the tick by its head (where it has attached to the skin). Pull firmly in a straight, swift motion until the tick detaches. Drop it in rubbing alcohol to kill it, and then disinfect the area on your horse.

How Do I Prevent My Horse From Getting Ticks?

As we mentioned before, you should perform daily inspections on your horse to catch ticks early—either before they go in for the night or as you groom them. Make an effort to keep them out of known tick habitats and start a preventative medication regimen. You should discuss with your vet the best sprays, topical treatments, or medications for tick control in your horse.

Courtesy of Deer Creek Structures