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  1. #1
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    Default INSTANT gratification...Scratches

    There has GOT to be some miracle cure for scratches that has a dramatic affect over night! Right? I've always had good luck with the basic betadine scrub, dry, desitin routine but our 5 month old filly has a case that is driving me batty! Two weeks, from the coronet up 1/2 way to the knee and hocks, TERRIBLE! Swollen, painful, pathetic. After the first few days of "my" routine and no luck I called the vet. Got a medicated shampoo and a lime sulfur dip (STINKY!). A few more days, minimal difference and very stinky pissed off filly. Got some strong antibiotic/anti-inflamitory from the vet, and swelling totally went down over night but the crusties are still holding tight. We are going on two weeks now and I'm just FINALLY starting to see some progress and I think the filly hates me now.

    So what is that miracle cure I'm missing? There has got to be a better way to treat this then scrubbing a terribly painful and tender area and applying cream in vain. I'm not talking the normal case, where betadine/desitin would do some damage right away, I'm talking scratches from hell that seem to whittle down only by about one spec per day. I even added a pro-biotic to help her fight it from the inside, and an immune booster.

    Anyway, I'm frustrated with treatment and despite gloves manage to spill the lime-sulfur on me regularly, leaving me slightly tinted yellow and with a faint allure of rotten eggs, the filly now runs at the sight of me. It's getting better, but I wanted it better two weeks ago!



  2. #2
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Default

    Was your "desitin routine" just desitin?

    Desitin (40% zinc oxide, not 10%), neosporin ointment, cortisone cream, possibly add some gynolotrimin or athlete's foot cream and even some fenbendazole paste (ie Safeguard) or some ivermectin paste - mix well, apply liberally at least twice a day, just wiping the old stuff off.

    if THAT doesn't start working, then it's time for a good culture.

    What is her diet? Any chance she's on some alfalfa, or clover?
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  3. #3
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    Mar. 24, 2004
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    Connecticut
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    Default

    We're on the up-side of the worst case of scratches I've ever dealt with personally, so I feel you pain (and Vinny the White Whale feels your filly's pain).

    The only thing I can offer that might help a little is a hint I learned up in Canada this spring, from a lady who swears by it:

    To soften up the crusties so you're not picking/scrubbing at raw skin, apply a thin layer of Excalibur and wait ten minutes, then wash it all off. The Excalibur (sheath cleaner) is designed to be mild, and to soften up, um, stuff. I found that helped make the cleaning part easier on all of us.

    That being said, there is a school of thought that says the picking/scrubbing routine disrupts the healing process, so it's better to treat, wrap and leave it for a few days. I did a combination of the above, and finally have healthy, pink skin. However, your mileage may vary, etc.

    Good luck!



  4. #4
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    Default

    Excaliber, what a great idea to soften, and I even have that on hand Thanks!

    JB- Just desitin initially, and that usually works really well for me. But now she is on the vet stuff- the lime-sulfer, the medicated shampoo, and the antibac/anti-inflam cream (no idea what it is other than $25 bucks for a tiny container of their special mixed brew). She is definitely on the mend now, swelling down, crusties subsiding, but she still has them and it has taken entirely too long to get this progress. And yes, she gets alfalfa, why?



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2007
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    1,055

    Default keratex mud shield powder

    I'm having great results using this stuff as a preventative. My OTTB gets scratches from looking at his water bucket. I dabbed the desitin mix described above on him to heal the scratches, now I puff this powder onto his ankles regularly, et voila, no scratches.
    Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

    Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs



  6. #6
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Default

    Alfalfa (legumes) can induce photosensitivity in some horses which makes them VERY prone to scratches, especially the type that doesn't go away with "normal" treatment.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Alfalfa (legumes) can induce photosensitivity in some horses which makes them VERY prone to scratches, especially the type that doesn't go away with "normal" treatment.
    Hmmm, how very very interesting!! This is an almost all white pinto filly, so increased photosensitivity is not something I want her to have. Sigh.



  8. #8
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    Dec. 28, 2003
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    Default

    "Ictammathol." No idea how to spell that, but it works. There are no ingredients listed, but I strongly suspect it's a mixture of used axle grease and diesel fuel.

    ETA: It's "ichthammol!"



  9. #9
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    Oh silly, don't you know it's spelled ickythammol?

    Good stuff, I agree. Messy as HELL, but good stuff.

    At least the Desitin mix is white(ish), and since it gets used mostly in what legs, the camouflage is great Until, that is, the black horse the white legs are attached to rubs the stuff off his leg onto his black body
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Oh silly, don't you know it's spelled ickythammol?

    Good stuff, I agree. Messy as HELL, but good stuff.

    At least the Desitin mix is white(ish), and since it gets used mostly in what legs, the camouflage is great Until, that is, the black horse the white legs are attached to rubs the stuff off his leg onto his black body
    Hah, thanks! I googled that, and the correct spelling came up.



  11. #11
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    Nov. 18, 2004
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    Catonsville, MD
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    Default

    My OTTB gets scratches from looking at his water bucket.
    Oh, I'm so sorry, but I do love this.

    Count me in for the homemade combination of desitin, miconazole, and triple antibiotic ointment. Adding the cortisone cream sounds worth doing too.

    I have good luck beating the scratches when they flare up on pasterns, but the rain rot farther up her tendons in back seems much tougher to treat and beat. The back of my horse's tendons below the hock always seem cruddy even when they don't actively have rain rot / scratches, and I groom that area carefully every. single. ride. Thomas has a thread (link not handy) about rain rot that recommends keeping the area dry, cleaning pads and brushes to keep from re-infecting, and advises against creams and ointments. This seems to be the most inexhaustible horse care topic.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  12. #12
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    Nov. 29, 2007
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    IL
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Was your "desitin routine" just desitin?

    Desitin (40% zinc oxide, not 10%), neosporin ointment, cortisone cream, possibly add some gynolotrimin or athlete's foot cream and even some fenbendazole paste (ie Safeguard) or some ivermectin paste - mix well, apply liberally at least twice a day, just wiping the old stuff off.

    if THAT doesn't start working, then it's time for a good culture.

    What is her diet? Any chance she's on some alfalfa, or clover?
    What effect would clover have on this?? I'm very curious. I have been dealing with the scratches from hell since MAY, and my mare is turned out in a big grass pasture that has tons of clover in it.

    My TB mare has black legs, and the scratches are concentrated on the back legs, around the ankles. This has already resulted in lymphangitis, and I do NOT want that to happen again!

    I've done the Betadine scrub, MTG, microtek--nothing has worked, and in the last two weeks the scabs are getting BIGGER.

    I'm in a boarding situation, and the barn is 30 mins away, so I'm not able to be there every morning to apply concoctions and every evening to wipe them off. I am at my wits' end with this and am so scared of a lymphangitis recurrence! Argh!



  13. #13
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    Nov. 24, 2005
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    St. Simons Island, GA
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    Default

    This thread might help:

    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...ukocytoclastic

    I'm curious about the crusts, can you get pictures of them?
    RIP Bo, the real Appassionato
    5/5/84-7/12/08



  14. #14
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    Nov. 5, 2000
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    Default

    The best remedy I have ever seen is a mixture of Desitin, Neosporin (or other Triple Antibiotic ointment), and Monistat 7. Most scratches cases are caused by a fungal infection, so you need the Monistat to combat that. This concoction has worked really, really well on nearly every horse we have tried it on.

    Keep the legs clean and dry them as thoroughly as possible with a clean towel after every bath, rinse, etc., then slather on the concoction. For severe cases, we would try to put it on at least twice a day. Also keep the tail clean, esp. near the bottom where it brushes against the legs. Once the scratches has cleared up, you can use Gold Bond medicated powder as a preventive, although some horses will always be prone to re-developing scratches. We try to keep a supply of ingredients on hand so we can mix up a batch of remedy whenever we need it as it is best to get right on top of it the minute you see a problem starting. Also try not to put boots or polos on the horse if possible, as that just holds moisture in.



  15. #15
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    Dec. 8, 2005
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    California
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    Default

    I have used desitin in the past with good luck, but now I have a 4 yr old mostly white pinto that it is not very effective on. I've tried many things and have ordered, at one time or the other, anything in my horse catalogs that is supposed to work on scratches. What I found works the best is hydrocortisone ointment, not creme, that I can buy at Walmart for $4 a tube. Also if it's on the legs and fairly bad I wrap them. Good luck.



  16. #16
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Appassionato View Post
    This thread might help:

    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...ukocytoclastic

    I'm curious about the crusts, can you get pictures of them?

    I'll link to a few pics of mine, if anyone's interested:
    http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/b...cratches22.jpg
    http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/b...cratches11.jpg

    Note: Please excuse the chipped, icky-looking hoof in the second picture. These were taken just before the farrier came.....it looks much better now.



  17. #17
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    Nov. 4, 2003
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    Dallas, Georgia
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    Another helpful thread: http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=154237

    When scratches have gone on this long, it's not "just" scratches anymore and all the topical goos, goops, salves, etc. just might be doing more harm than good.

    Jingles!
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.



  18. #18
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnysauntie View Post
    My OTTB gets scratches from looking at his water bucket.
    If things are that dicey, then I would take a hard look at the diet as a cause of not allowing his immune system to be fully functional. Copper in particular.

    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyTB View Post
    What effect would clover have on this?? I'm very curious. I have been dealing with the scratches from hell since MAY, and my mare is turned out in a big grass pasture that has tons of clover in it.
    There is something about legumes (clover, alfalfa) either ingested or through topical exposure, creates a photosensitivity issue.

    My TB mare has black legs, and the scratches are concentrated on the back legs, around the ankles. This has already resulted in lymphangitis, and I do NOT want that to happen again!
    I'd take a close look at her diet, especially since you're dealing with this on black skin

    I'm in a boarding situation, and the barn is 30 mins away, so I'm not able to be there every morning to apply concoctions and every evening to wipe them off. I am at my wits' end with this and am so scared of a lymphangitis recurrence! Argh!
    You may just have to pay a bit extra to have someone swipe the stuff on when you can't - well worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoMare View Post
    When scratches have gone on this long, it's not "just" scratches anymore and all the topical goos, goops, salves, etc. just might be doing more harm than good.
    It depends. With my guy, it was a couple of months where all the vet-prescribed (ie $$$$) treatments were not working and things just kept getting worse. It wasn't until I switched to the desitin concoction that we made progress

    But yes, at some point a culture should be taken to see if you need systemic antibiotics
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  19. #19
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    Nov. 29, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    If things are that dicey, then I would take a hard look at the diet as a cause of not allowing his immune system to be fully functional. Copper in particular.


    There is something about legumes (clover, alfalfa) either ingested or through topical exposure, creates a photosensitivity issue.


    I'd take a close look at her diet, especially since you're dealing with this on black skin


    You may just have to pay a bit extra to have someone swipe the stuff on when you can't - well worth it.


    It depends. With my guy, it was a couple of months where all the vet-prescribed (ie $$$$) treatments were not working and things just kept getting worse. It wasn't until I switched to the desitin concoction that we made progress

    But yes, at some point a culture should be taken to see if you need systemic antibiotics
    Believe me, if I could, I would. This is a great barn but it is not full service and they don't usually do this kind of thing--blanketing, applying scratches goop, etc. Not to mention the fact that my mare is sometimes kind of a one-girl horse and the barn help is a bit hesitant around her.



  20. #20
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    Jul. 28, 2004
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    Default

    I agree with the Desitin concoctions. Mine had a bad case (white legs) last year during a damp spring. It occurred to me that maybe the Desitin had something to do with keeping the sun off. I starting wrapping his legs after treating them, in white polo wraps when he was out. Seemed to do the trick. His legs got better surprisingly quickly once I started wrapping them. It may also have been that the wraps kept them dry and/or kept them from contacting some kind of plant in his pasture that was causing photosensitivity.



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