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FOUR PAWS treats mange infestation of horses in Danube Delta


Since late March 2014, the Romanian FOUR PAWS team has continued its efforts in the birth control program for the free-living horses in the Danube Delta. While doing so, they noticed that many of the horses had several bald spots in their coats, and it was assumed that it was a skin disease. This suspicion was proven accurate as the confirmed diagnosis was ‘Sarcoptic mange’ – a mite infestation in which parasites burrow in the skin, which causes bald spots. Sarcoptic mange is not a fatal disease, however it is contagious and highly unpleasant for the animals.

Help for the horses

The horses had several bald spots in their coats.

Because the team already has to sedate the mares which receive the immune-contraceptive for the birth control for the first time, they also treated the horses with a disinfecting spray to the infected areas of the skin. As well, the horses were given vitamins. Fortunately, the disease is not very dangerous and it won’t be necessary to treat all the horses. Nevertheless, the on-site team will care for the animals worst affected. This is concerning about 20-30 horses. They will be given medication with the help of a dart gun from afar.

An eye on the horses

© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile

FOUR PAWS will continue to keep an eye on the development of this unique horse population. In the beginning of the project, in 2013, it was estimated that about 1,000 free-living horses were living in Letea in the Danube Delta. FOUR PAWS has been trying to stem the reproduction of the horses with humane methods with the birth control project since autumn 2013. We are monitoring the development of the population through consistent counting via an airplane.