There is some anecdotal evidence that apple cider vinegar may help with sweet itch in horses, but there is currently no scientific evidence to support this claim. Apple cider vinegar is thought to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that may help to soothe irritated skin and reduce the risk of infection, but more research is needed to determine its effectiveness for treating sweet itch in horses.

What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented apple juice. It is produced by crushing apples to extract the juice, which is then combined with yeast and bacteria to begin the fermentation process. During fermentation, the natural sugars in the apple juice are converted into acetic acid, giving the vinegar its distinctive sour taste and pungent odor.

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Apple cider vinegar is commonly used in cooking and as a natural remedy for a variety of health concerns. It is believed to have many health benefits, such as promoting weight loss, reducing cholesterol levels, regulating blood sugar, and improving digestion. It is also used topically to soothe skin irritation, treat acne, and as a natural hair conditioner.

When purchasing apple cider vinegar, it is important to choose a raw, unfiltered product that contains the “mother” – a cloudy, web-like substance that forms naturally during the fermentation process. This is where much of the vinegar’s beneficial compounds are found.

Benefits of apple cider vinegar for a horse with sweet itch

There is limited scientific evidence to support the use of apple cider vinegar for the treatment of sweet itch in horses. However, some anecdotal evidence suggests that apple cider vinegar may have some potential benefits for horses with sweet itch:

Anti-inflammatory properties

Apple cider vinegar is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties that may help to soothe the skin and reduce the itching and irritation associated with sweet itch.

Antimicrobial properties

Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties that may help to prevent infections from developing in the open sores that can result from sweet itch.

Fly repellent properties

Some horse owners use apple cider vinegar as a natural fly repellent to help prevent midges and other biting insects from aggravating the horse’s sweet itch.

Skin conditioning

Apple cider vinegar is sometimes used topically as a skin conditioner to help keep the horse’s skin healthy and hydrated, which may help to prevent the development of sweet itch.


While these potential benefits of apple cider vinegar are promising, it is important to note that there is currently limited scientific evidence to support its use for sweet itch in horses. It is always best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the most effective treatment plan for your horse.

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