Summer Sores On Horses – Prevention & Treatment Guide

Last Updated on January 13, 2022 by Sam

Horses are one of the most diverse species on Earth, with more than 150 breeds worldwide. They can have all kinds of ailments that require veterinary care and treatment in order to live long, healthy lives.

The “treatment for summer sores in horses” is a guide that provides prevention and treatment information. The guide also includes information on how to prevent the development of the condition, as well as what to do if it has already developed.

Summer sores in horses’ sheaths are caused by infected stable and horse flies depositing Habronema worm larvae in new wounds and wet parts of the sheath and horse eyes.

When flies “worry” wounds, the sheath, and the face, it is more common from spring until October.

Habronema worms develop and live in nodules in the equine stomach wall. Eggs are swallowed by growing fly pupae as they pass through dung. The disease is spread or re-infected mostly by the intake of dead or live flies in feed or when horses lick wounds where the larvae are present.

Summer Sores On Horses Symptoms

In most cases, Habronema larvae delivered by stable or house flies infest open wounds that have started to heal properly with typical pink granulation tissue. The larvae travel into the wounds and form elevated red-brown tissue nodules.

These may also be found on the conjunctiva of the eyes, the urethral entrance of the penis, and the sheath lining.


The sores become larger and spread over time, and the horse rubs or bites the wounds to ease the discomfort.

Large nodules might bleed, ulcerate, or leak clear or yellowish tissue fluid. The exudate attracts additional flies, which, if carrying Habronema larvae, increase the size of the lesions and aggravate the discomfort.

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Summer Sores: Prevention and Treatment

Adult worms in the stomach, as well as larvae in the summer sore sores, may be managed using a worming liquid or paste such as Equest, MecWorma, Equimax, or Amo, given at regular worming intervals of 6-8 weeks during the high-risk period. Consult your veterinarian for worming recommendations.

It’s critical to keep flies under control to avoid larvae infesting wounds:

Dry and clean wounds to promote healing and make them less appealing to flies.

Flies will be repelled by Cetrigen Spray or Septicide Antiseptic Cream, which may also be applied to the skin around new open wounds each morning to decrease fly swarming and the risk of summer sores.

Controlling fly breeding requires a clean yard and a steady environment. Insect repellents for the environment are available and may be applied in bedding or stables.

Apply fly repellent cream or spray to the front border of the horse’s sheath on a regular basis to avoid Summer sores on the sheath, especially when flies are in epidemic proportions.

Veterinary therapy to remove big nodules, especially around the sheath or eyes, may become necessary as soon as infection emerges. If any nodules cause you worry, see your veterinarian.

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Summer sores are a common problem on horses. They can be caused by many different factors, but the most common cause is poor hygiene and lack of care. There are several things that horse owners can do to prevent and treat summer sores in horses. Reference: what causes summer sores in horses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my horse keep getting summer sores?

A: Horses are very susceptible to sunburns, so it is likely that your horse has been exposed to too much UV radiation.

How do you treat sheath summer sores?

A: The treatment for sheath summer sores comes down to a personal preference because each individual is different. Some people choose the option of topical creams, oral medications and/or compression therapy as methods for treating this condition.

What parasite causes summer sores in horses?

A: The parasite that causes summer sores in horses is called a Toxoplasma gondii.

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