Flies

(Chris) Hello, I’m Dr. Chris Blevins, with Horsin’ Around from Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. Today we’re gonna talk about flies. And the issue with flies, especially during the summer and how to protect your horse from flies. And is there any diseases that we’d be worried about that can be transmitted by any flies? You have to remember that there’s a lot of different flies that are out there that can affect a horse. One being the most common, is the house fly that’s gonna be around a lot of the barn areas. The other one is going to be stable flies. They look very similar to that of the house fly. However, whenever you get bit by a fly it’s not the house fly, it’s probably the stable fly. And the stable fly also is one that’s gonna bite the horse and cause them to do more stomping and those kind of things around their legs. Horses that are out in pasture will have also two other different species of flies, one being the face fly which will be around the head of the horse. And then horn flies. They can be around the head or around the back, or even underneath the belly of the horse. The horn fly out in pasture can bite and so again, they are gonna be a little smaller. They still look like a house fly but again, they’re gonna be a lot smaller. So, identifying flies isn’t necessarily the biggest aspect, but understanding that there’s different species of flies, can help in preventing different issues when it comes to that of the horse, as an annoyance, but also as a disease that they can transmit. Now from an annoyance aspect and just trying to protect the horse itself from flies, there’s sure a lot of different fly sprays that are on the market to try to repel or prevent flies from getting on your horse. The biggest thing to remember is most fly products do not last forever. A lot of the oil based products can last a little bit longer. You just have to be careful because when you start putting a lot of oil on your horse’s skin, they can get a dermatitis or just an infection of the skin, based on too much oils and stuff on there. So, when you look at the product, always read the label on there. And apply it as it’s recommended based on the label for that. But don’t get frustrated on a lot of the fly sprays because they do get down regulated or broke down by sunlight and evaporation based on sunlight and wind. And so those products are usually…that’s the cause. A lot of the flies aren’t resistant to the fly spray. It’s just the fly sprays aren’t lasting that long, what’s on there. There’s also some spot ons that you can put on the mane, the tail to prevent things. And the aspect of kinda finishing up is that of disease. So, there are some diseases that biting flies can transmit. One being vesicular stomatitis and two, being equine infectious anemia, that we test with a Coggins test. Again, the prevalence of those two diseases is pretty small. So, it’d have to be kinda in the area, that you’d have to be worried about. But controlling flies can sure try to help prevent your horse from getting those diseases. If you ever have any questions about flies and fly diseases, contact your veterinarian or give us a call at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins at Kansas State and we’ll see you around.

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