Equestrian Shop Online » Horse FAQs » How to Prevent and Treat Equine Summer Sores in Horses?

How to Prevent and Treat Equine Summer Sores in Horses?

how to prevent and treat equine summer sores in horses


Equine summer sores are caused by the Habronema muscae parasite. This parasite is most common in humid, warm climates. It is transmitted by mosquito bites and flies. Summer sores in horses can be very painful, unsightly and difficult to treat. There are many things horse owners can do in order to prevent and treat ESS.

Learn the Risk Factors and Causes of Equine Summer Sores

Equine summer sores are most often caused by the Habronema mucae parasite. This parasite spreads by mosquitoes, flies, and thrives in humid and warm climates. These conditions make it more likely that horses will contract the disease. Poor nutrition, insufficient fly control, and a weak immune system are all risk factors for ESS.

Insect Prevention

Reduce the number of mosquitoes and flies in horses’ environments is the most important thing to prevent equine sores. You can do this by making sure the barn and stall areas are free from standing water. This is a breeding ground that mosquitoes love. Fly sheets and insect repellents should be used by horse owners to keep the flies at bay.

Nutrition and Immune Support

Equine summer sores are less common in horses that are well-nourished. Horse owners need to ensure that their horses have a healthy diet, and are supplemented with vitamins and minerals when necessary. Horse owners should ensure that their horses get plenty of exercise to keep their immune system strong.

Equine summer sores: Treatments

It is crucial to immediately begin treatment for equine sores once the horse has been diagnosed. The treatment aims to reduce inflammation, soothe the skin and eliminate the parasite responsible for the infection. Topical ointments and anti-inflammatory medication may be used as well as antibiotics. Sometimes, surgery may be required to remove the skin affected areas.

Topical Ointments

Equine summer sores can be treated with topical ointments. They can soothe and reduce inflammation. They are particularly effective when they contain tea tree oil, calendula and aloe vera.

Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory meds

To kill the parasite and reduce inflammation, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication can be used. A veterinarian should prescribe these medications as they can cause serious side effects if taken incorrectly.


  • Q: What can I do to tell if my horse has equine sores?

    A: Itchy, raised, and reddened skin is the most common sign of equine sores. You should immediately contact your veterinarian if you experience any of these symptoms.

  • Q: How can I avoid equine sores in the summer?

    A: Reducing the amount of mosquitoes and flies in your horse’s environment is the best way to prevent summer sores. To keep your horse’s immune system strong, you should ensure that they are getting a healthy diet and regular exercise.


The Habronema Muscae parasite causes painful and unsightly summer sores in horses. There are many things horse owners can do to help prevent this infection. The horse should be treated immediately if they contract the disease. Topical ointments and anti-inflammatory medication may be used to treat the infection. Equine summer sores are easily managed with proper prevention and treatment.