Mange is the common name given to parasitic skin diseases caused by mites, which cause intense itching and hair loss in the horse. Mites are most active during the hot dry summer months and can be found on long grass where they are picked up when contact is made. When the mite attaches itself to the horses legs it injects a fluid into the horses tissue which causes irritation and discomfort. The mite will remain on the horses skin for a few days before dropping to the ground where it then burrows into the soil and matures into a adult after 6 weeks.

There are 5 main types of mange that can affect horses and all require careful and thorough treatment:

  • Sarcoptic Mange - Sarcoptes scabiei var equi
  • Psoroptic Mange - Psoroptes equi
  • Chorioptic Mange or Leg Mange - Chorioptes equi
  • Demodectic Mange - Demodex equi
  • Straw Itch Mite or Forage Mite


  • Hair loss.
  • Itching
  • Stamping of the feet.
  • Inflammation.
  • Small lesions occur that begin crusting over within a day, they are often found around the horses lower legs.

Treatment - will vary so ask your vet for advice.

  • Thoroughly scrub the area with an insecticide horse shampoo such as Vetguard. Repeat this process every 7  to 14 days to ensure that the area remains as clean as possible. If symptoms persist then contact your veterinary surgeon.
  • Application of a anti-inflammatory antiseptic cream or spray.
  • The use of antibiotics may also need to be given depending on the severity of the infestation.
  • An injection can also be given to destroy any deeply laid mange eggs buried within the horses skin.

A healthy coat is indicative of a health horse.