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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2813
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My horse I think might have bird mites. She has what looks

Customer Question

Hi pearl my horse I think might have bird mites. She has what looks like hives all over her body that when felt are hard with a shabby scrus
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. There are all sorts of infestations your horse can pick up. I'll have you talk to the veterinarian who'll sort out what is wrong and help you decide what to do about it. What is the horse's name and age?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** is in her mid to late 20s
JA: Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about Sammy?
Customer: She is very itchy and now her arthritis seems worse in the last couple days she hasn't gone to graze in the pasture but is eating drinking still
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.


I'm Dr. Jo and I'm a licensed veterinarian with more than twenty years of experience. I'm here to help with your question about Sammy's skin. I'm so sorry you are having this problem, but glad you're looking for the information you need. You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY or SEND. Then we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided. I'll do my best to earn your good rating, because that's the only way I receive any compensation for helping you.In the meantime, in order to help me help you better, I'll need some more information. To start with, can you please tell me:

  • How long have you had Sammy?
  • What geographic area are you in?
  • Is she your only horse?
  • How long has she been having this problem?

I'll be standing by and awaiting your reply.Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have had her for 20 some years now. I have another horse in the pasture around the same age and has the hardened lumps with a crusty stuff and is very itchy. My chickens ducks and geese all roam freely and the chickens have scale mites. Can the horses also get them?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your quick reply. One moment while I type, please...

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

In general, mites are species-specific. That means they cannot carry out their life cycle and live on another species.

Because of that, it is not at all likely that your horse's skin problems are associated with the bird mites.

(typing more)

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

With the bird mites out of the picture, it is much more likely this is an allergic or parasitic problem. Also possible are fungal and bacterial skin issues, but they are less likely.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

Your vet is able to run some simple and inexpensive diagnostic tests that can clarify the cause of Sammy's skin woes. I would advise having this done as quickly as possible because it may be something that could affect your other horse as well.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

Does this help to answer your question at this point in time? I want to be as helpful as possible because I know what it's like to worry in a situation like this.

The bot***** *****ne is this is NOT due to bird mites, and can actually be caused by a variety of different things. The quickest way to find out what it is and get Sammy started on the appropriate treatment is to have a veterinarian do the necessary testing to make a diagnosis.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.

If you are satisfied with the information I've provided, please take a moment to rate my response. I've done my best to provide you with the most accurate, thorough and up-to-date information that is available, and your positive feedback is important to me. Without it, I receive no compensation for helping you.

If you are not satisfied, please let me know how else I may be of assistance.Thank you for using our website.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 10 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?