Its name may remind you of a children's toy company, but there's nothing playful about habro or 'summer sores.' Habronemiasis is a common but painful equine affliction that occurs as the result of nematode infestation of the skin, and typically manifests as granulomatous masses and/or erosions.
Fiber technology plays a major role in making Summer Whinnys™ more than just a horse sock to protect legs from biting flies.
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There are three distinct types of habronemiasis: Conjunctival (larvae affix to the eyelid or conjunctiva); Gastric (affecting stomach mucosa); and Cutaneous.
Cutaneous habronemiasis is recognized by granular lesions, caused by invasion into the skin or through open wounds by larvae of Habronema spp. and/or Draschia megastoma. Also known as swamp cancer, summer sores, bursati, granular dermatitis and jack sores, cutaneous habronemiasis appears as ulcerative skin nodules in the spring and summer.
While any horse or pony can be affected, some are more prone to the condition, developing lesions year after year. Commonly affected areas include legs, penis, preputial sheath, eyes, and any open skin wounds.
Lori J.'s gelding was one of the unlucky ones, suffering each spring and summer from painful habro irritations. Nothing yet had proved to offer relief until she purchased a set of Summer Whinnys™ by Sox For Horses.
"This customer was nearly in tears of joy when she called to tell me how our Summer Whinnys™ performed for her horse," said Ray Petterson, president and founder of Sox For Horses. "So many horses seem to suffer and, as with this owner, they have tried everything and still end up in frustration. We know our Summer Whinnys™ can take this condition on."
The results were so rewarding, Petterson continued, that she shared the results and photos in a letter.
" I am THRILLED with these horse socks," she wrote. "My gelding gets habronemas. The infected wounds won't heal until the resulting 'kunkers' are removed. Every time my gelding uses his teeth to scratch his legs, he breaks the skin leaving an open wound for the flies to transport the larvae which becomes habro."
"These lesions occur every summer so before fly season, I'd always wrap his legs. But he always managed to dig through his wraps or undo the Velcro to scratch his legs leaving an exposed wound. I'd spend months wrapping his legs in medicated sanitary pads with vet wrap, followed by polo wraps. This would go on all summer and at least once or twice a summer, the vet would have to dig out these deep kunkers."
The response to treating habro sores, by veterinarians such as the Atlanta Equine Clinic, typically includes systemic steroid therapy to reduce pain and swelling, fly control and repellants, and topical skin care to discourage flies from landing and depositing infectious larvae into existing wounds.
"After five years of frustration," she continued, "I desperately Googled everything I could think of and came upon Summer Whinnys™/Sox For Horses. I placed my order and was overwhelmed with joy to see that these summer socks completely protected my gelding who didn't even attempt to get them off."
"They're sturdy, they stay up and most importantly, they provide a comfortable barrier between the flies and his legs. Never again will he have to endure the pain of having habronema. I strongly encourage anyone who has any leg skin problems to get these socks. They offer wonderful protection and deserve to have a wider presence. Try them. You'll love them. Tell your friends. Tell your vet. Get the word out!"
“I am glad to hear that Lori succeeded in ending her battle with nasty summer sores” said Petterson. “I know the science behind the antimicrobial fibers used to make our socks, and I was careful to make a sock that would breathe. Summer Whinnys™ are not just any ordinary barrier."
"You can’t heal a sore or wound if it isn’t allowed to get air, or the environment around it isn’t clean, and you can’t get both with airtight bandaging. I am really hoping that the veterinary community will take notice of Sox For Horses. Lori has, and it was a condition that she had not been able to get a handle on until now."
Why did Lori’s horse leave Summer Whinnys™ alone when other bandages had been torn off? Petterson posited that the sores, having found a protected healing process that prevented habro larvae re-infestation, helped curtail her gelding's pain and itching. "Horses are always going to find ways of getting wounds and sores on their legs. Summer Whinnys™ offer that antimicrobial and breathable barrier between sores and flies that prevents habro infestation."
Sox For Horses are developed using antimicrobial fiber research and production from innovative American companies, the same fiber technologies hospitals are turning to in their efforts to control bacteria and fungi in environments where sterility and safety are tantamount priorities.
Such fiber technology plays a major role in making Summer Whinnys™ more than just a horse sock to protect legs from biting flies. "Sox For Horses have much more value, and application well beyond fly season," Petterson says.
Sox For Horses, Inc., and the complete line of Summer Whinny™ and Whinny Warmers® (winter) horse socks are Made In America. Have a question? Feel free to call (850) 907-5724 and discuss how Sox For Horses can help your horse. For more information, visit http://www.whinnywarmers.com