my mare developed scabs like on all four legs and not just at pastern level but as high as her stifles. vet said they were either insect bites or allergic reaction to some weeds, however, after reviewing what we've done in the preceding days, i'm pretty sure these were caused by chigger bites.
either way, i was told to wash with warm water and gentle soap or water and iodine solution and then to apply cortizone. i did wash but instead of cortizone i applied veterycin. however, the scabs began healing over even before i had a chance to wash (barn has a power outage so i had to bring hot water from home to wash).
Yep, could be any number of things from laying on hard ground with no bedding or grass to allergies to bugs.
Is this something new? Have you had a lot of wet weather? Or Morning dew? Long grass? What are your stall floors like?
I have one would tends to get "scruffy" or "stratchy" in spring and fall. I use furacin at the first signs of redness or scrabs and it clears it right up. An occasional dab keeps it from coming back. Don't be afraid of the furacin.
Not a tick bite. We don't have chiggers here either.
Really dry weather, no grass, no dew that high up the leg. I'm in dusty-dry N California.
Not stalled - out 24/7 in the same pasture for 2 years.
Now that I look back on it the sores have been there over a month. I just thought they were a little ding and ignored them, but the past week I've washed with Hibiclens daily and no change. Prior to that I applied neosporin to one and fungal cream to the other as an experiment for a few days but they got really nasty and full of dust/dirt. I felt Hibiclens would do both jobs better, and more cleanly.
Location of sores is lower hind cannon, one on the inside of one leg, and the outside of the other.
Here are pics of both: hard to see the dry pink middle and dry ring of yellowy scab around it, but they're about 1" across.
Well that's exactly how mine started on my chestnut, white legged horse (I am also in Northern California and it started in hot, dry weather). The good news is you are catching it early on. I followed all the scrubbing/washing/goop recommendations on here and mine spiraled out of control. It starts with something irritating the skin, then the body reacts to that. The scrubbing only irritate the skin more and opens it up to infection.
I would keep them dry and out of the sun as much as possible and start with having your vet prescribe some sort of anti-inflammatory. I used Genesis spray with an oral antibiotic/steroid but some vets also try panalog (which is an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and anti-fungal). I would also switch to wraps on the legs rather than boots that would irritate them. I will say that if they don't start getting better really quickly with use of a topical anti-inflammatory I would go see a dermatologist.
How far are you from UC Davis? They have an awesome dermatology department, I love Dr White.
Thanks PP - would hate for it to get crazy... I'm about 2+ hours from Davis so that's not an easy place to pop into.
Hibiclens (antiseptic, antimicrobial, bactericidal) plus cortisone cream? Or will OTC cortisone cream just be too weak? I'll buy a tube and add that to the regimen, see if I get results.
I'll change to wraps behind for sure. Can't (easily) keep him out of the sun - he lives in a field, though there's lots of shade. If it goes berserk he'll need to go in a stall I guess.
I would stop cleansing at all. It was the water and irritant that I think caused my horse's problem to get out of control. If you want to do it DIY I would probably try something like neosporin with a cortisone cream and just wipe it off and reapply twice a day. Is there any way he could just be inside during the day? The days are getting quite short now.
Unfortunately he can't be in during the day at our barn - they only do day turnout for stalled horses, and he's in pasture so he can move around and not get stiff (he's 20)
He's also a 32 mile round trip from home/work so 2x a day is almost impossible.
Argh. Will consult vet.
It certainly not the only way to treat it, I'm just saying what I would do best case scenario. Consulting a vet would not be a bad idea, but I would caution you to not clip the legs and not wash/scrub them, I am pretty certain that was what did my horse in (he definitely had a photo-sensitivity componant, and once the immune system starts over-reacting to the inflammation it starts spreading and getting worse).
The main thing I found was keep it clean, dry and medicated with an anti-inflammatory. If there is a photo-sensitivity component clipping the legs when the horse is outside can make it worse. If there is an infection scrubbing it and/or picking at it can make it worse.
It didn't help. Those sores may or may not have been the beginning of sporotrichosis.
He started showing weeping pustules in December on one leg, and hundreds of them gradually spread all the way up to his sheath. He next had large swellings along the midline, esp at the chest.
He had 4 different types of antibiotics with little success, vet took 2 bloods and 3 pus samples and finally after consultation with Davis diagnosed sporotrichosis. The diagnosis process took three freaking months.
Vet started horse on a weekly IV of sodium iodide, which he's been on for 6 doses.
He's also on daily oral itraconazole (Sporanox) powder which is $400 a month. Starting his second month of that and the pustules appear to be drying up now. I wear gloves to treat him as it's a fungal infection that's communicable to humans (and cats and dogs.)
Horse has been on stall rest since mid December - just in the last week gone to 6 hours a day turnout on a tiny 1/4 acre paddock. I hope to have him back on the hilly 30 aces with the herd in May.
Xanthoria, thanks for the update. If anything this thread should further illustrate that sores on a horse's legs can be very serious. I cringe every time someone posts the "scratches" thread and all the usual suspects come out and recommend all the scrubbing and goops. So many cases of skin problems can be a symptom of a serious condition.
I hope you can get things under control and your horse is healthy again.